"THE BEST COMPUTER SPORTS GAME."
That's the award SSI's COMPUTER
BASEBALL" received from Electronic
Games masazine (a subsidiary of
Video magazine) for 1982.
We appreciate the recognition,
but frankly, we're not surprised.
Especially \Mien you consider
what it took to be the best
It's a computer strategy
game* so thorough yet so
easy to use you'd swear
you're managing a live
It lets you enter exten-
sive player statistics so you can
create any team you like —
from the neighborhood
hackers to the great 1944
gives you over
strategy options to choose
from, options so complete
you have to remember to
warm up relief pitchers
Its color Hi-Res graphics display
r has enough animation to give you a
good feel for the flow of the game.
As a clincher. Teams Data Disks for 1980
and 1981 are available if you want to use real
AL and NL teams of those seasons.
And the price? A steal at $39.95. (Data disks
aie sold separately from SSI for $15.00 each.)
As exciting as all this sounds, it's nothing
compared to what you'll see when you get your
mitts on the game at your local computer/game
store. Then you'll really understand why people say
Computer Baseball is what it is.
To order directly from SSI with your VISA or MC, call toll free 800-227-1617. ext 335
(800-772-3545, ext 335 in California). To order by mail, send your check to Strategic Simula-
tions Inc, 465 Fairchild Drive, Suite 108, Mountain View, CA 94043.
All our games carry a 14-day money back guarantee.
*For the 48K Apple* II with Applesoft ROM
and one floppy disc drive.
Aople is a resistered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.
K j - a* part of our demanding standard!, of excriirncc, wr uso 1113X611 floppy discs.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD DESIGNERS. We're always on the lookout for high-
quality games from independent designers. If you have game programs thatyou'd like SSI to publish on
a royalty basis, give us a call at (415) 964-1353 or write to SSI, 465 Fairchild Drive, Suite 108, Mountain
View, CA 94043.
P M » tc*1 V
■ iiciiii»e ^
y. n tHE R
\ / SttlH
r V STRATrOiC SII«1LII.ATIONS inC
•P.; - • .
Editor: Russell Sipe
Asst. Editor: Kirk Robinson
Art and Layout: Tim Finkas
Operations: Suzanne Sipe
Typesetting: Comarco Inc.
Printing: Quibodeaux Printing
Cover Art: Tim Finkas
WIZARDRY: PROVING GROUNDS... 6
Review of Sir-tech's popular fantasy game Mark Marlow
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO STRATEGY AND 1 0
TACTICS IN EASTERN FRONT Bob Proctor
TIME ZONE: AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERTA WILLIAMS 14
VOYAGER I: SABOTAGE OF THE ROBOT SHIP 16
Avalon Hill’s new game reviewed Dave Jones
SOME SCENES FROM THE 7TH WEST COAST
COMPUTER FAIRE 20
LONG DISTANCE GAMING: GAMES VIA 22
THE SOURCE AND COMPUSERVE Deirdre Maioy
JABBERTALKY, IN DEPTH 26
Automated Simulation's word game reviewed Marty Halpem
GREATEST BASEBAU TEAM - RESULTS 30
OLYMPIC DECATHLON: A CLASSIC COMPUTER GAME 32
Muse’s popular game analyzed Russell Sipe
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED: A TRS-80 REVIEW
Adventure International’s Lunar Lander game reviewed
SWASHBUCKlfR: ANOTHER KIND OF PIRACY
A new game from DataMost
Hobby & Industry Notes 4
Initial Comments 4
Atari Arcade 18
Silicon Cerebrum 24
Writing tor Computer Gaming World 39
Reader Input Device 40
COMPUTER GAMING WORLD
is published bi-monthly by
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1.1 — The Future of Computer Wargaming; Torpedo Fire; Robotwar; B-1 Nuclear Bomber;
Crush, Crumble and Chomp; President Elect; Baseball Tournament; and more.
2.1 — Napoleon’s Campaigns 1813 & 1815; The Swordthrust Series; Galaxy; Castle Wolfenstein;
Tanktics; Baseball Tournament (Pt. 2); Operation Apocalypse; and more.
2.2 — Southern Command; So You Want to Write a Computer Game; Napoleon’s Campaigns
Designer’s Notes; Blackjack Master; The Current State of Computer Documentation; Robotwar
Tournament Winner; Tigers in the Snow; Bug Attack; David’s Midnight Magic; and more.
FROM “CARTEL” AUTHOR
A magazine that deals exclusively
with the field of computer games is
an idea whose time has come! As a
computer games designer (I have
written Computer Quarterback and
Cartels & Cutthroats for SSI) I was
optimistic about the impact a publi-
cation such as yours could have on
our young industry. However, after
considering the Micro-Reviews in
your Jan/Feb issue, I am seriously
concerned as to whether that impact
will be as positive as it could be.
With an ever expanding array of
competing products available each
month, responsible reviews that
give authors and publishers critical
feedback and that provide consu-
mers with reliable information to
aid buying decisions are a major
part of the role of a publication such
as yours. Regretably, at least as re-
gards the Jan/ Feb Micro-Reviews, I
feel your accomplishment fell short
of your promise. The review of
Cartels & Cutthroats, of which I am
co-author, was very disappointing
both in itself and as regards po-
tential comparisons with another
business program reviewed at the
So as not to sound “sour grapes” I
will tell you that Cartels has been
reviewed in print by educators, econ-
omists, management training con-
sultants, and observers of the micro-
computer software field (most nota-
bly David Ahl - owner and publisher
of Creative Computing) -all of whom
had high praise for the achieve-
ments of Cartels & Cutthroats. In
addition, the information that my
publisher has received in the form of
“feedback/ warranty cards” indicates
that purchasers are equally pleased
with this product. Since its intro-
duction a year ago 99% of the people
returning cards (a demographically
diverse group) have stated that
Cartels was fun to play. Cartels was
also ranked consistently first or
second in playability and realism
against SSI’s impressive portfolio of
20 games by consumers during that
year. Thus, I feel safely sure of the
quality of Cartels & Cutthroats even
though your reviewer had doubts.
Although the overall impression
of your review was positive, the re-
viewer wrote an awkwardly unbal-
anced report on the game. The basis
on which a product must be judged
is against its objective and how well
it is met. In several places on the
packaging and in the game manual
Cartels states its goal to be a play-
able game built on a foundation of a
very realistic business simulation.
If we look only at those sections of
your review that deal with this issue
such points as follow are made:
“well executed economic simula-
tion”, “quite good. ..market simula-
tions”, “well executed and allow
interaction by players”, “a good
introduction to micro-economics”,
and “an excellent program”. How-
ever, the overall impression of re-
viewer ambivalence is conveyed by
the fact that with each positive
comment (dealing with an issue of
major importance to the objective of
the game) there is also a negative
comment (concerning some super-
ficial element of the program). The
casual reader, therefore, gathers a
mixed impression from sentences
like: “The market simulation seems
quite good although even the manual
admits that beyond 40 quarters the
economic simulation begins to break-
down”. The two points are hardly
parallel! The reason we said the
simulation “may” breakdown is
that we never played a game that
long. In Cartels a short game is 8
quarters, a normal game 10 or 12
quarters, and a long game (re-
quiring over 8 hours to play) would
be 20 quarters. Why would anyone
consider not being able to play a
game for over 16 hours (40 quarters)
as a serious flaw?
Another draw back, at least ac-
cording to the reviewer who devoted
an entire paragraph to it, is the
“tedious” graphics and sound ef-
fects. In our play-testing, these fea-
tures were found almost universally
appealing. In fact, the cute sayings
and animated interlude that the
reviewer considered repetitous were
introduced as a result of “human
engineering” that found that people
had a better “feel” for the time
pattern of the game if such delays
were introduced. In my observation
it was disruptive to people who
spent a relatively large amount of
time observing the results of their
previous plans and developing stra-
tegies for the next turn if the com-
puter simply returned the results
instantaneously. The delay was
introduced to “simulate” the fact
that the player’s review and plan-
ning took place at a “no-time-in-
terval” between three long months
during which plans were imple-
mented, products were manufactured,
and sales were made. Although few
players of Cartels are aware of this
reasoning, the vast majority found
that the animated interlude made
the game “feel better”. A reviewer
could very well miss the subtlety of
this element, but one not so obsessed
with “delays” might have at least
not wasted a whole paragraph on a
point that in no way reduces the
game’s overall fitness as a playable,
realistic business simulation.
However, though I obviously take
issue with the perceptions of your
reviewer concerning Cartels & Cut-
throats, I feel the greater damage is
done by the fact this demonstrates
your lack of a standard policy for
reviews. Product reviews can poten-
tially help consumers choose be-
tween competing programs, but if
your current review practices are
continued, we are back to “buyer
beware”. The review of Cartels &
Cutthroats was proceeded by a simi-
lar look at a program called “Wall
Street” by Donald Brown. I do not
wish to “pick on” Wall Street, but a
comparison of the two products and
reviews is a perfect example of how
the lack of a formal review policy
destroys your credibility. While the
reviewer of Cartels points out the
limitations of its 15 page (12,000
word) full-size typeset manual, no
mention is made of the six page
(2400 word) full-size notes that ac-
company Wall Street. Cartels &
Cutthroats is packaged in SSI’s
attractive four color box (that has
become the industry standard for
sophisticated software products) and
includes a short rules reference card
and a pad of planning sheets while
Wall Street is in a simple “zip-lock”
bag with a disk. Cartels & Cut-
throats costs $39.95 while Wall Street
sells for $29.95. I won’t attempt to
make distinctions in the less tan-
gible aspects of the two products
except to say that they differ sig-
nificantly in realism and playability.
However, the overall impression in
the Wall Street review was slightly
negative and in the Cartels review it
was somewhat positive. I am certain
that if one reviewer wrote both
reviews (instead of the two very
different writers you employed) there
would have been much broader
distinctions drawn than appeared
in the Jan/Feb issue.
I propose that you have a panel of
reviewers for each field of interest
(such as business games, wargames,
adventures, etc.) who would com-
municate frequently enough to stan-
dardize their perceptions. Thus, even
if different reviewers look at dif-
ferent products the overall rating of
a product would reflect some objec-
tive standard. This method has been
used very effectively by InfoWorld. I
hope you accept my suggestion in
the constructive spirit in which it is
Management Systems Engineering
Little Rock, AR
As Lucretius said “What is food to
one, is to others poison. ” This is with
no one more true than with com-
puter gamers. There are many dif-
ferent types of computer games
which appeal to many different
types of gamers. We try to keep this
fact in mind when we select the
articles/reviews that will appear in
CGW. As an individual, I find Car-
tels to be a better game than Wall
Street. But, as an editor, I must
realize that every review need not
necessarily reflect my own bias. If I
feel that a review has misrepre-
sented a game in either direction, I
will reject it or return it for cor-
rection. However, as you point out,
the overall tone of the Cartel review
was positive while the Wall Street
review was somewhat negative.
Your suggestion for a panel of
reviewers in various areas is a good
one which 1 would like to implement
as time goes along. As of now, we
continue to look for more “quality”
writers to make CGW the type of
magazine that all computer gamers
would like to read. -Ed.
I am glad to see a publication like
Computer Gaming World at this
time. The two local computer stores
do not stock a large selection of
computer games, and it’s nice to be
able to keep abreast of the latest
developments in computer games.
I do have two suggestions that I
would like you to try to incorporate
into your magazine. First of all, it
would be nice if there were a few less
articles about computer wargames
-not all of us are wargame fanatics. I
myself would prefer more articles on
fantasy & adventure games. Sec-
ondly, I would like to see a column
that would provide would-be adven-
turers like myself hints for the
various games (e.g.. Wizardry, Sword-
thrust, Zork, Dunjonquest, and/or
the Scott Adam’s Adventure Series).
I realize the main objective in these
games is to discover things on your
own, but it can be quite frustrating
until you find the correct procedure.
For example, I lost three of my best
Swordthrust characters trying to
scale the cliff in Swordthrust #3
(Kidnapper’s Cove) before I learned
the alternative from a friend.
Council Bluffs, lA
I am greatly enjoying CGW. How-
ever, I hope you will PLEASE avoid
giving away answers to challenges,
as was done in Deirdre Maloy’s
review of Ultima. For example,
comments such as “will always be
caught.. .in that city”; “can be found
on the third floor of a dungeon”;
“can be reached only by boat or air
car” spoil the reader’s fun of dis-
covering these facts for him/herself.
ANY clues spoil the fun.
As these two letters illustrate there
is a disagreement as to the merit of
including hints for adventure games.
We have decided to compromise.
When hints are included in an
article they will be in slip code. The
reader must shift each letter one
position to translate the hint. In this
manner we hope that those who
want the clues can get them and
those who do not will not read them
accidentally. - Ed.
I would like to congratulate you on
the quality of your new magazine, it
looks like you are off to a great start.
In particular, the cover of vol 2, no. 1
is fantastic. It exactly captures the
status of computer gaming at the
present time. Personal computers
bear the same relationship to the
human race as the 2001 monolith
bore to the pre-humans. If you ever
publish a poster series, this should
be among the first.
W. B. Brogden
Port Aransas, TX
NOT ENOUGH ATARI
The cover of 2.2 should have been
an Apple grove instead of a maze of
hedges! There was not one article on
games for the Atari. Only a handful
of the numerous new games for Atari
were even mentioned. Every game
(except 1 TRS-80 game) review was
for the Apple.
There also seems to be a pre-
occupation among your staff with
wargames. Although these can be
enjoyable, the arcade style games
are much more exciting and hold
one’s interest longer than a game
that may take hours or days to
The graphics and sound are far
superior on the Atari 800 and it’s
time the computer gaming world
realized this fact. Software for the
Atari is growing by leaps and bounds
and soon will equal Apple in numbers.
I feel that your magazine must
cover all the major computers so
that it will be a representative publi-
cation for the great big computer
gaming world and not just another
orchard for Apple.
Hurray for A tari users! The paucity
of Atari reviews in CGW to this
point is due to the fact that we
haven’t had much of a response
from Atari gamers. Atari users-lets
hear from you.
CGW began business with an
Apple H last summer. We expressed
interest in Atari articles (and TRS-
80) whenever we came into contact
with those users. We have just
purchased an Atari 800 and hope to
cover the Atari market more com-
pletely. You will note that a regular
department on Atari-arcade games
begins in this issue — Atari Arcade.
Manufacturers of Atari computer
game programs are encouraged to
send review copies of their products.
We are still looking for TRS-80
reviewers. Richard McGrath can’t
cover the whole field no matter how
much he’d like to.
TO FILL OUT
Broderbund Software has released
DUELING DIGITS and LABY-
RINTH for the Apple II computer.
They have also released an Atari
version of their popular APPLE
PANIC. All three sell for $29.95.
DALE ARCHIBALD has recent-
ly signed a contract with the Field
Newspaper Syndicate to write a
weekly computer software and hard-
ware review column. You may see it
in your local newspaper in the near
SSI will be publishing the first
“monster wargame” for the comput-
er. GUADALCANAL CAMPAIGN
(slated for late June/early July re-
lease) will be 292 turns long in the
campaign scenario. The four basic
scenarios are Coral Sea, Battle of
Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa
Cruz Island, and Guadalcanal. Each
ship, plane and battalion of the cam-
paign is represented. Can be played
as a two-player game or against the
computer (computer plays the Japa-
nese). Air, land, and sea battles.
Wow! It will sell for $59.95.
When SSI released ROAD TO
GETTYSBURG they added a new
twist to their games-the option of
fighting the tactical battles with
miniatures. They went back and
added this option to NAPOLEON’S
CAMPAIGN’S 1813 & 1815. If you
have the old NAP. CAMP. 13 & 15
disk you can return it with $5.00 for
an updated disk. Their address is
465 Fairchild Dr., Mountain View,
By the time you read this maga-
zine SSI should have the 1981
COMPUTER BASEBALL team
data disk available (including the
season stat complier). Send $15.00
Those that would like to have the
GBTOAT teams (see results in this
issue) on disk can drop a postcard to
J.K. LEE 1519 Santa Teresa, So.
Pasadena, CA 91030, for information.
Automated Simulations is spon-
soring RICOCHET BOUNCE OFF
(a national championship tourna-
ment for their action/strategy game).
You can get information from your
local computer store or write directly
to Automated Simulations at P.O.
Box 4247, Mountain View, C A 94040.
Deadline for entries is June 30, 1982.
Automated Simulations new golf
game, FORE!, should be available
early in May.
SSI will release SYMTRON
MASTERS in early June. SM is a
futuristic robot combat game with
tactical aspects and limited control
over robots through the commander.
It will cost $39.95.
Avalon Hill has a long list of titles
coming out in the months ahead. By
the time you read this DRAW
POKER, BOMBER ATTACK,
TANK ARCADE, ROAD RACER/
BOWLER and SHOOTOUT AT
THE OK GALAXY should be out.
According to AH these will be aimed
at the Atari 400/800 markets with
selected titles on the Apple, Pet, and
TRS-80 Color Computer. COMPUT-
ER BASEBALL STRATEGY
should be RD, G.F.S. SORCERESS,
COMPUTER FACTS IN FIVE, and
Apple Software •
All Proyrams On Disk
TRACK ATTACK . .
DUNG BEETLE ....
MOUSKATTACK . .
ZORK 1 OR II
DARK FOREST ....
LISA ED. SYSTEM
TIME ZONE 99.95
PFS (New Version) .
1 EMPIRE WORLD BUILDERS 32.95
|dBASEII (req. softcard) ...700.00 ■
C O D. • Money Orders • Certified Checks
For Personal Check Allow Two Weeks
N.Y.S. Res. Add 7.25% Sales Tax • All Orders
Under $100.00 add Post. & Hand.
$2.00 U S.. $2.50 Canada, $6.00 Foreign
• SEND FOR FREE PRICE LIST >*202 •
BYTES & PIECES (516) 751-2535
1 Box 525 Dept G2 •
E. Setauket. N.Y. 11733 |
In addition to games mentioned
elsewhere in this issue the following
games have been received by CGW.
Most but not all of these games will
receive more detailed attention in
P.O. Box 2032
Del Mar, CA 92014
MICROWAVE: A maze-chase
game which pits ‘Teddy the Salvage
Man” against the decadent aliens.
Teddy patrols a spaceship picking
up faulty equipment while avoiding
the aliens. Microwave dishes can
be dropped which kill aliens.
19273 Kenya St.
Northridge, CA 91326
All Data Most games run on
Apple II with 48K.
CASINO: Five casino games are
available on this $39.95 disk-roulette,
poker, keno, blackjack and bacca-
SNACK ATTACK: Data Most’s
maze-chase game. Five levels of
play keep this $29.95 game inter-
COUNTY FAIR: Shooting Gallery
arcade game similar to the coin-
operated arcade game. $29.95.
THIEF: Similar to the coin-operat-
ed arcade game BEZERK.
P.O. Box 2411
Riverside, CA 92516-2411
TAXMAN: Billed as “the definitive
version of the popular game” this
Apple II game looks just like the
popular arcade game. Keyboard
141 Harvard Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98466
COLOR SPACE TRADERS:
Economic game of establishing
space shipping lanes. Similar to
the board game ACQUIRE. Runs
on the TRS-80 Color Computer
(16K gives low-res graphics, 32K
gives hi-res graphics).
COLOR SPACE INVADERS:
TRS-80 Color Computer version
of the popular arcade game. Non-
MADNESS AND THE MINO-
TAUR: An adventure game of
the Traditional “two-word command”
type. TRS-80 Color Computer. N on-
GHOST GOBBLER: A TRS-80
Color Computer version of PAC-
MAN. 16K non-extended basic
4517 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214
COMPUTER STOCKS &
BONDS: Computer version of
AH’s board game STOCKS &
BONDS. Available for the TRS-
80, Apple H, PET,Atari 400/800,
and IBM personal computers. Disk
versions $25.00; tape versions
$ 20 . 00 .
GUNS OF FORT DEFIANCE:
Strategy/arcade game in which
you command a 19th century ar-
tillery piece repelling cavalry, in-
fantry or another artillery piece.
Runs on TRS-80, Apple H, Pet,
Atari 400/800 and IBM personal
P.O. Box 11725
Palo Alto, CA 94306
MASTERTYPE: A typing instruc-
tion system/game using a hi-res
game format to teach/improve
typing skills. Seventeen progressive
lessons help develop mastery of
the whole keyboard. Apple II
P.O. Box 15-518
San Francisco, CA 94115
STARSHIP COMMANDER: A
hi res space combat simulation in
which the player simulates the
various aspects of being a com-
mander of a starship. You must
manage a crew, allocate power,
maintain shields, navigate, fire
weapons, and destroy up to three
enemy vessels. Look for more in
our next issue on this very well
designed program. Apple H 48K.
L & S Computerware
1589 Fraser Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
CROSSWORD MAGIC 2.0: Up
dated version of their crossword
generation program. Puzzles can
be created, saved, printed out, worked
on monitor. $49.95.
465 Fairchild Dr. Suite 108
Mountain View, CA 94043
THE ROAD TO GETTYSBURG:
a computer simulation of the Gettys-
burg campaign based on the Napo-
leon’s Campaigns 1813 & 1815
game. Apple II 48K, $59.95.
THE PURSUIT OF THE GRAF
SPEE: Younger brother of Com-
puter Bismarck. This one recreates
the final day s of the German pocket
Battleship Graf Spec. Tactical battles
can be fought on-line or with
miniatures. Apple H 48K. $59.95.
AIR COMBAT DATA DISK:
Contains over 70 new aircraft
from WWII and the Korean War.
Sir-Tech Software, Inc.
6 Main Street
Ogdensburg, N.Y. 13669
KNIGHT OF DIAMONDS: the
second scenario for their popular
Wizardry role-playing simula-
Highland Computers, Inc.
14422 S.E. 132nd
Renton, WA 98056
Five hi res adventure games (all
GOBLINS: (animation); $27.50.
MUMMY’S REVENGE: (full
color hi-res); $30.00.
OLDORF’S REVENGE: $19.95.
CREATURE VENTURE: (ani-
P.O. Box 25625
Los Angeles, CA 90025
HOCKEY: A high-speed game
of hockey. Two to four players
control the two teams in this ex-
citing game which rewards skill.
Similar to the Atari home video
version of hockey. Requires 16K
and sells for $29.95.
80-Northwest Publishing Inc.
3838 South Warner St.
Tacoma, WA 98409
THE CAPTAIN 80 BOOK OF
BASIC ADVENTURES: 252 page
book with listing for 18 different
adventure games. Includes 10 chapters
of background material about writing
and playing adventures. All for TRS-80.
Nice introduction by Scott Adams.
Choose an Apple Desk
Ideal for an Apple computer system, our
bi-level desk has a micro shelf to hold two
Apple disk drives. Top level holds monitor,
TV, or manuals. 42"w x 29'A"d x 35"h.
Choose a Micro Desk
Our Designer Series desk with micro shelf
is suitable for the North Star, Dynabyte,
Vector Graphics, and Altos computers. A
variety of sizes and colors available.
Choose a Mini Rack
Mini racks and mini micro racks have ad-
justable Retma rails, standard venting,
and cable cut outs. Choose a stand alone
bay or desk model. A custom rack is
available for the Cromemco.
Choose a Printer Stand
The Universal printer stand fits:
Centronics 700's Diablo 1600's & 2300's
Dec LA 34 T.l. 810&820
NEC Spinwriter Okidata Slimline
Lear Siegler 300 Anadex 9500's
Delivery in days. 200 styles and colors in
stock. DEALER INQUIRIES INVITED.
17129 S. Kingsview Avenue
Carson, California 90746
The Proving Grounds of the Mad Overloid
^ A Review by Mark Marlow
Apple II 48K
Andrew Greenberg &
6 Main Street
Ogdensburg, NY 13669
HEAR YE, HEAR YE! Our Noble Lord and Most
gracious ruler, Trebor the Beneficent, has need of
brave men and women with stout hearts and
strong constitutions to undertake the task of
recovering an amulet; treacherously stolen hy the
evil wizard Werdna. Be ye warrior, wizard, priest
or thief-human or otherwise-ye are welcome! Ad-
venturers are invited to meet at the tavern of
Gigamesh. Successful candidates will be knighted
and hired into the king’s service. Please leave
name and address of next of kin at the Adven-
turer’s Inn. (We need to know who to hill in case of
accidental death or dismemberment!)
Such might be the bulletin posted in a medieval
town in some epic fantasy tale. WIZARDRY:
The Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is a
game of epic proportions comprising nearly 14,000
lines of code on both sides of a diskette. The
brainchild of Andrew Greenberg and Robert
Woodhead, WIZARDRY is the culmination of
nearly 2y2 man-years of intensive effort. The
original WIZARDRY program was written in
Basic which proved too slow to make the game a
viable product. The game was rewritten in Pascal
hut was delayed until the release of a runtime
system which would allow the game to be played
on Apples without language systems. The final
result is a game which is superbly playable but
with enough variation and complexity to whet the
appetite of the most discriminating adventurer.
THE WORLD OF WIZARDRY
WIZARDRY is a fantasy role-playing game
modeled on the Dungeons and Dragons game
concept with the computer assuming the role of
the Dungeon Master. The world of “The Proving
Grounds of the Mad Overload” consists of a castle,
an inn, a tavern, a trading post, a temple, the
training grounds, and a three-dimensional maze,
ten levels deep, below the castle.
The training grounds located at the edge of
town, are the first of several stops you must make.
Here, you enter a name and/or password for your
character. You are then given a choice of races.
Wizardry characters may be humans, dwarves,
elves, gnomes or hobbits. At this point you are
asked to choose the character’s alignment. A
caution here, only characters of similar alignment
can travel together. For example, neutral charac-
ters may travel with either good or evil alignment
groups, but good and evil may never mix. The
computer then generates a random number of
points which you may add to the character’s basic
attributes. The six attributes are Strength, I.Q.,
Piety, Vitality, Agility, and Luck.
Based on the character type you pick and the
points you assign, you may choose one of the
classes which appear on the screen. Beginning
players will usually be allowed to pick fighters,
mages, priests, and thieves. As the characters
gain experience, you will have the option of chang-
ing the class of your character to an elite class. The
elite characters are bishops, lords, samurai, and
However, there are drawbacks to changing the
class of your character. The first and foremost
drawback is that your character loses all of his
experience points. The second is that your charac-
ter will age. Attributes tend to decline after age 50
and the effectiveness of spells, etc., will decrease in
direct proportion to the decline in attributes.
Now that the characters are created, the next
stop is Gigamesh’s Tavern. Parties are assembled
here before entering the maze. After the party is
assembled, a trip to Boltac’s Trading Post is in
order. There is a wide selection of weapons, armor,
and magic spells. Boltac has been known to run
out of items so don’t rely on Boltac’s for all of your
equipment. Some very powerful items can be
found by opening chests in the maze. Any items
you cannot use can be sold back to Boltac at half
the retail price.
ENTERING THE MAZE
Anytime you enter the maze, you will automati-
cally be in camp. The first time you enter you
should EQUIP the entire party. As you do this, the
armor class of each player who has purchased
armor drops considerably. The lower the number,
the stronger is his armor. When you leave camp,
the maze appears in 3-dimensional aspect in the
upper left corner of your screen. Movement is
generated using either “R” and “L” for right and
left, “F” for forward or the “A”, “W”, “D” group for
left, forward, and right respectively. When you
come to a door, you must use the “K” command to
kick in the door. Some rather nasty surprises are
usually waiting for you on the other side.
Probably the single most fascinating aspect of
Wizardry is the ability of priests, mages, bishops
lords, and samurai to cast spells. Wizardry comes
with a book of some fifty spells which the magic
users can cast by uttering a magic word. Arcane
sounding words such as MILWA and LOMILWA
can shed light in certain situations. The spells
cannot all be used at the outset. As in real life, the
ability to use certain things must be gained
through experience. Therefore, in order to be able
to cast the higher level spells, your character must
gain enough levels to learn these spells. Another
nice little item worth remembering is that you only
have a certain number of spell points. Once these
are exhausted you must leave the dungeon and
rest up before the points are renewed.
Certain items in the dungeon also have magical
qualities. Bishops have the ability to identify
these items, it is, therefore, a good idea to bring one
along in the early stages of the game. If you don’t
bring a bishop, you will have to pay exorbitant
rates at Boltac’s to get the items identified. You
could always take a chance and equip your charc-
ter with the items you find, but if the item is cursed,
your characters performance in battle could be
MAPPING THE MAZE
Each level of the dungeon is a grid measuring
approximately 20 by 20. Mapping is essential to
survival in the game. Being trapped on an
unknown level and getting the entire party slaugh-
tered because you didn’t know the way to the stairs
has caused many a nightmare for unsuspecting
adventurers. The stairs leading to the castle are
located at co-ordinate 0,0. The casting of a
DUMAPIC spell will tell you your exact location
with respect to the stairs to the castle. By using
DUMAPIC in conjunction with MALOR, the
teleportation spell, you can pretty much travel all
over the maze with relative safety. Just remember
that the stairs are one level below the castle, so
that if DUMAPIC tells you that you are 13 steps
east, 10 steps north, and 7 levels down; you must
go 13 west, 10 south, and 6 up to arrive at the
Wizardry is an extremely complex game and one
of the most challenging tasks is to complete an
accurate map of all ten levels. There are many
tricks programmed in to make mapping difficult. I
would appreciate receiving copies of maps from
any readers who have mapped all ten levels and
compare them to the ones I have made. If I can
compile what I believe to be an accurate and com-
plete representation of all ten levels, and the
public response is favorable, then the maps may
be published in this magazine. Also, if you have a
list of magic items and their uses, I would like to
compile a guide to the objects you can find in the
If you are looking for a game with extensive
graphics and sophisticated animation, then Wiz-
ardry might disappoint you. The graphics appear
in the same small square that depicts the 3-D
maze. The monsters appear in the corner and a
description of the monster group(s) appears at the
top of the screen. Several things can occur during
an encounter. Y ou could surprise the monsters and
have one round of unanswered combat. If the
monsters surprise you, then they get one round of
unanswered combat. If you both run into each
other at the same time, the computer will ran-
domly pick who gets to fight first, though high
agility or luck could swing things in your favor.
Encounters are fought in turns: you determine
what each character in your band is going to do,
then the computer gives you the result in rapid
sequence. The display speed can be adjusted from
1 to 5000 which translates to anywhere from a
fraction of a second to five seconds.
The boot side of the Wizardry diskette has a
number of important utility options. If you are
playing the game and accidentally hit reset, you
may use the REjCOVER option to save the charac-
ters who are in the maze. In older versions, this
would cause the characters to age 10 years, but the
newer versions have removed this penalty.
The M)AKE SCENARIO option allows you to
create an unlimited number of back up scenarios.
This option enables you to use the copy you create
to play the game, saving wear and tear on the
original. The option does require two disk drives.
The BjACKUP CHARACTERS option allows
you to save your characters onto a DOS 3.3 in-
itialized disk in case you should crash the pro-
gram and inadvertently wipe out your characters.
You can recover from the back up directly onto the
scenario from which you made the back up.
Another option allows you to change the names
of characters. This is useful when you transfer
characters between scenarios and find that you
have two characters with the same name.
The TjRANSFER option allows you to transfer
characters between Wizardry scenarios, though it
deletes the character from the source scenario
before writing it to the new scenario.
Finally, there is the UjPDATE option, which
allows you to update a friend’s Wizardry disk if it
is an older version.
TIPS ON STRATEGY
The biggest mistake you can make in Wizardry
is to attempt too much too soon. Patience is defi-
nitely a virtue. The first few forays into the maze
should be hit and run type maneuvers. Fight one
encounter, then get the heck out of the maze. Use
your healing spells often. The strongest initial
group consists of three fighters, two priests, and a
mage. Later, you should include a thief (great for
disarming trapped chests) and possibly a bishop
to identify objects. A level 12 or higher bishop can
identify most objects fairly quickly.
Don’t attempt going down to the third or fourth
levels until your characters are level 10 or higher.
Hit points can be lost quickly so use your priests to
heal during combat. Later, when your characters
have found and defeated Werdna, you can find
ways to build up characters rapidly.
1) Finding the entrance to the 10th level.
(UIFSF JT B DIVUF MPDBUFE BU
2) Fighting greater demons.
(VTJOH MBLBOJUP XJMM VTVBMMZ
TNPUIFS BCPVU IBMG PG UIFN)
3) Finding the gold key.
(UIF HPME LFZ JT MPDBUFE PO UIF
TFDPOE MFWFM JO B EBSL BSFB)
4) Getting back into the castle after defeating
(JG ZPV BSF JO XFSEOBT MBJS, DBNQ
JNNFEJBUFMZ, DBTU NBMPS BOE VTF
UIFTF DPPSEJOBUFT: 28X, 4T, lOV)
Wizardry is complex, but even with its com-
plexity, is an extremely playable game. It is highly
interactive to the point that you could easily be-
come emotionally attached to the characters you’ve
created. I’ve talked to many players who have
become Wizardry addicts to the point that they
play the game eight to ten hours a day.
I personally could find little to fault with Wiz-
ardry. The biggest fault I could find in the mech-
anics of the game was that it was too easy to get
killed at first. This is very frustrating for a first
time player. Even experienced characters could be
killed off relatively easily if surprised by a group of
Another thing which would enhance the game
would be the addition of more puzzles to solve.
While the main quest is a difficult one to solve,
smaller and more cryptic puzzles would greatly
add to the overall effect.
In conclusion, I would rate Wizardry as one of
the all time classic computer games. It sets the
standard by which all fantasy role playing games
should be compared. In the years to come, if there
ever is a Gaming Hall of Fame, Wizardry receives
my vote as the first entry into its hallowed halls.
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• APVENTURE TO ATLANTIS is a new
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EASTERN FRONT 1941 has been getting a
lot of attention for a computer wargame. It was
reviewed in CGW, of course (issue number one),
but it has also been acclaimed in a computer maga-
zines like BYTE and CREATIVE COMPUTING
Perhaps it doesn’t deserve to be called a secret;
every experienced wargamer I know has found it
within three playings. It is a matter of setting the
right strategic goals and discovering the tactics to
carry them out.
This article was written to help those of you with
little or no wargaming experience. I don’t want to
give you the answer on a plate but will try to direct
your thinking. That way you can still experience
the feeling of accomplishment that comes
with that first win.
What is a “win” anyway? The rulebook suggests
that any score over 100 is very good. I estimate
that the actual progress made by the German
army in 1941 would rate about 110 or 120. But this
is a solitare game, a win can be setting some
objective for yourself and meeting it. You could,
say, add 100 points to your best score and go for
that. The best you can get is 255; around here the
good players compare the number of Russian
units left on the map to tell the difference between
a so-so 255 and a really good 255!
because of its excellent human engineering and STRATEGY: THE BIG PICTURE
graphics. I noticed a peculiar thing, though, when
I started talking to people who had played the
game. They either thought the game was too easy
or impossible; nobody felt that the level of
challenge was “just right.”
Strategically, what Hitler needed were the
resources of the Soviet Union: the oil, the wheat,
the industrial facilities, the labor force.
EASTERN FRONT, I’ll call it (EF), represents this
by giving points for occupying territory. To quote
This dichotomy suggests that there is a secret to from the rules, “...maximum victory points are
winning which one either knows or doesn’t know. gained by moving as many muster strength points
as far to the east as possible, while destroying as
many Russian combat strength points as possible
and pushing the remainder to the east.” In
addition, 50 points are awarded for the control of 4
major cities, Moscow being worth 20 and
Leningrad, Stalingrad and Sevastopol 10 each.
It sounds pretty straight-forward, until you try
it and discover that the real problem is not getting
the points but keeping them. The game opens in
June and lasts 40 weeks (a turn is one week). There
are 14 turns of good weather, 4 turns of mud, and
22 turns of winter. Trying to hang on to your gains
during the Russian winter counter-attack can be
one of the most frustrating experiences in
wargaming! Against a strong Russian force, it is
utterly impossible. We must therefore find some
way to weaken this counter-attack. Any unit
which survives until winter can become strong
and dangerous; to cease to be a threat a unit must
cease to exist.
Having reasoned this much, the solution should
be apparent. The primary goal must be to destroy
the Russian army - territory becomes a secondary
objective in the early stages. If the Russian army
is eliminated, the Germans can continue to
advance even in the winter.
TACTICS: THE HOW OF IT
Now let us see how our strategic goals affect the
way we give orders to individual units. In general,
we want our attacks to eliminate enemy units, not
just force them to retreat. In EASTERN FRONT, a
unit will always retreat if it can so the enemy must
be surrounded or forced up against a coast or the
edge of the map. To surround a unit, it isn’t
necessary to encircle it with your units but only
with zones of control.
Let me digress a minute to explain zones of
control for those of you who are wondering. This
concept, which has been around as long as
wargaming, is a means of representing a unit’s
effect on the nearby area. If your army was
camped between the enemy and a city you were
supposed to protect, you would not let the enemy
march around you 20 miles to the north to attack
the city. As soon as your scouts reported his
movement, you would prepare to attack his force
as it moved. Such an attack would force the enemy
to turn and do battle with you. Your force could be
said to have a “zone of control” of 20 miles. In
game terms, whenever an enemy force moves
within this zone (usually this is “adjacent” on
whatever grid system the game uses) they must
stop their movement and resolve combat.
EASTERN FRONT uses a square grid system.
This creates a problem in that the squares that are
adjacent diagonally are further apart, center to
center, than those that are adjacent orthogonally
(up, down, left and right). For simplicity, EF does
not allow diagonal movement but if there is no
zone of control diagonally, it would take 4 units to
surround an enemy, one to block each direction it
could move. This is more than it should take so the
game invents a “half zone of control.” A half ZOC
(as they’re called) has no effect by itself, but two
overlapping half zones block retreat. It is now
possible to surround a single enemy unit with just
two of your own; they must be on opposite sides as
in figure 1. The units block retreat up or down
and their joint ZOC’s block retreat to either side.
It should be mentioned, in passing, that getting
a single unit surrounded may still take more than
2 of your units, especially if none of your units
start adjacent to it. The problem is trying to
predict where it will be by the time your units move
up. What seems to work best is to try to contain the
enemy inside of a contracting ring. Once it is
surrounded by two units, the rest can head for the
front. You will be much more successful at this if
you can learn to predict how the computer is likely
to move. Observation and experience are the keys.
All well and good if I find an enemy unit all by
itself, you say, but what if there’s a big line of
German units facing a big line of Russians? The
temptation, of course, is to order each unit to
attack the enemy unit directly in front of it; the
problem then is that your line just pushes their
line back. This is great in football but in EF all it
gains is a little territory -- just the opposite of our
strategic plan. What we have to do instead is a
little uneven pushing as illustrated in figure 2.
' ' ^
We want to attack every other unit in the line and
force them back. When our units advance into the
squares vacated by the retreating enemy they will
surround the units which are left on the original
line. The units left become the primary objects of
attack. Notice that unit B, which starts in front of
the intended victim, does NOT attack it as this
would only push it back out of harm’s way before
units A and C could cut off its escape. We would
like to be able to delay the frontal attack until A
and C have advanced and this can be done by a
trick I call a “deliberate traffic jam.” It works like
this: unit B gets orders to move to the spot vacated
by A, unit D has orders to move through the spot
vacated by B and attack the enemy. Since B can’t
move until A does and D can’t move until B does,
we are guaranteed that D will not attack the
enemy until A does. Of course, B could just as
easily have moved down into the space vacated by
C -- you want to choose the side which you expect
will take the longest to succeed so that both A and
C will be in place before unit D attacks.
The presence of enemy units immediately
behind the unit which you are attacking will block
its retreat as effectively as you could. The problem,
of course, is that you can’t control their movement
- they may not stay there! In figure 2, a unit
behind those being attacked by A or C will cause
them to be eliminated instead of retreating. Since
A or C would still advance into the vacant square,
this wouldn’t affect the general plan except that
the timing may be thrown off because it will take
longer to eliminate a given unit than to force a
retreat. Some types of terrain -- rivers, mountains,
swamps -- favor the defender and may also affect
The next step is to try it yourself. What you have
learned here should enable you to get a respectable
score. Further experience will teach you about
timing, terrain, supplies, and (probably) over-
extending yourself. I hope that from now on, as
your skill grows, you will see a corresponding
increase in your scores.
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An Interview with Roberta Williams
TIME ZONE, the long awaited
multi-disk adventure game from On-
Line Systems is now out and creat-
ing considerable interest in the hobby.
It is an awesome game in terms of
size and scope. On six-two sided
diskettes, TIME ZONE is easily the
largest game program commercial-
ly available. A game of this mag-
nitude must, because of sheer size
alone, become a landmark in the
computer gaming hobby. As to wheth-
er the game becomes more than a
landmark (i.e. a “watershed game”
or a “classic”) remains to be seen. It
will be interesting to see how you,
the buying public, responds to this
huge and expensive game ($99.95).
The following interview with the
authoress, Roberta Williams, was
held on April 2, 1982 shortly after
TIME ZONE became available.
CGW: First off, let me congratu-
late you for what has obviously been
a massive project. From the origi-
nally planned six disk game to the
final form which is equivalent to
twelve disks, TIME ZONE is impres-
sive if for no other reason than it’s
size and scope.
RW: (A self-satisfied chuckle).
CGW: The rulebook states that
TIME ZONE was over a year in the
making in addition to the six months
writing the game before any pro-
gramming was done. The rulebook
lists ten people who worked six to
twelve hours a day on TIME ZONE.
If I take that literally and put the
hours together (figuring 200 work-
ing days in a year) I come to the
incredible figure of 12,000 to 24,000
hours of work. How many hours, all
totaled, went into the design of
RW: Actually, those involved in
the project worked eight hours a
day. Some of the ten listed did not
work on the project full time. For
example, Ken (Williams) wrote the
original interpreter which is why
his name appears in the list. He
never actually did any of the work.
That part was already done. Jeff
Stephenson took the original inter-
preter that Ken had written and
reworked it to fit TIME ZONE.
There were a lot of modifications
that had to be done. Back to your
question-I worked on the project six
months by myself, although it wasn’t
eight hours a day, five days a week.
It was more like three or four hours a
day. After the six months of writing
and designing the game, I worked
with the others, on-and-off, for the
next eight months. It was fourteen
months before it was finally done.
CGW: As a sidelight, I’d be in-
terested in knowing what kind of a
profit you can expect to make off a
project like TIME ZONE.
RW: We normally pay 25 to SOFo
royalties for a game design. But
TIME ZONE is all in-house and I
will receive no royalties, as such.
Remember that TIME ZONE couldn’t
have been done by one person. It
couldn’t even have been done by two
or three people without several
years work. While I wrote the game
other people programmed it and did
the graphics. Sometimes I feel that
people don’t think that I’m as much
a part of the creative process as I
claim, due to the fact that I don’t
program. The designing of the game
is the most important and creative
part of the project (and also the most
CGW: The rulebook mentions
that a restructuring of your ad-
venture programming procedures
had to be accomplished for TIME
ZONE. What is different about TIME
ZONE in this respect?
RW: Several things... The hi res
pictures in TIME ZONE draw about
three times faster than in our old
games. Most of the TIME ZONE
pictures were drawn by Terry Pierce
who is a very good artist. On the
other hand I drew the pictures in my
older games and I’m not an artist.
When you take inventory in our
old games, the disk must be ac-
cessed, which required a delay. In
TIME ZONE, inventory is in memo-
ry and can be seen at the touch of a
key. Also, the new save game fea-
ture is more efficient than our old
CGW: The game covers points in
history from the Prehistoric Era to
the far future. What level does the
historical aspect of the game reach ?
Are the historical situations surface
level or will adventurers find that
they need to get out their history
books to solve certain parts of the
RW: No, the players will not need
to get out their history books to play.
Playing TIME ZONE requires log-
ical thinking and puzzle solving. I
did, though, have to do a lot of
historical research to make the game
as accurate as possible. We didn’t
want people to call up and say “Oh,
you put Cleopatra in the wrong
time” or anything like that (as it
turned out I did make one mistake). I
researched encyclopedias as well as
books. On a couple of occasions I
had to call the library to get infor-
mation I couldn’t find elsewhere.
For example, I had to make several
phone calls to find out where Napoleon’s
official residence was. It turned out
that he had his official palace in
CGW: You mentioned that you
made a mistake in the game. Would
you tell us what it was?
RW: It’s more geographical or zoo-
logical than historical. I put a rhea
bird in Australia, when it actually
belongs in South America. The mis-
take occured because of a trip I made
to the Los Angeles Zoo. The animals
are displayed according to the con-
tinents they come from and the rhea
bird was in with the kangaroos in
the Australian area.
When we found out that the rhea
bird is not from Australia, the game
was almost ready to be shipped. It
would have taken a couple of weeks
to change it and retest the game. So
we decided to just add a disclaimer
in the documentation saying that
there may be some mistakes.
CGW: That doesn’t sould like a
major mistake. We’ll just blame iton
the L.A. Zoo.
RW: Yes (laughs).
CGW: The rulebook mentions
that in May of 1982 you will be able
to offer hints on TIME ZONE. Will
this be strictly by phone or will you
offer some kind of hint sheet?
RW: I never liked hint sheets. I
feel that if the people have the
answers in front of them they will be
more likely to look up the answers
instead of trying to solve the problem
by themselves. We are quite willing
to answer questions if people call us
with specific questions, but we don’t
want to give out hint sheets. I just
don’t think people should pay $32
for The Wizard and the Princess and
then just be able to look up the
answer to solve it easily.
CGW: Do you have any idea for
the size of the overall vocabulary in
RW: Oh, gosh! I’m sure it’s in the
thousands, although I’m not really
sure. The average adventure game
has 50 to 100 rooms, while TIME
ZONE has 1300 rooms. Some rooms
or regions have greater opportunity
for conversation. Some regions re-
quire a lot of conversation while in
others there isn’t very much at all.
CGW: At the present, TIME ZONE
runs only on the Apple II. Is it going
to be made available for other com-
RW: It might become available on
the Atari 400/800 at some future
point. The problem with the Atari
computer at this time is that TIME
ZONE (with twelve disk sides) takes
a long time to copy and the Atari
copy program we have is really slow
in comparison to the Apple copy
program. Ken could sit down and
write a copy program which would
make it a lot faster if he ever gets
time to do it. When that happens we
will put TIME ZONE on the Atari.
Additionally, TIME ZONE will even-
tually be available on tbe IBM per-
CGW: What advise would you
give to potential players of TIME
RW: It’s not an easy game. And
it’s not for beginners. It takes a
really long time to get through
TIME ZONE; even for someone who
knows the answers. If I sit down to
test TIME ZONE, it takes me a good
week to go through it one time while
testing it and I know the answers!
Make sure you have GOOD maps.
Use your imagination. Don’t give
up. It’s going to take a LONG time.
CGW: Now, the big question. When
does the sequel come out?
RW: (Laughs) Never! I am burned
out on adventure games. I don’t
even want to look at another one.
It’s been two years during which
I’ve written four adventure games
including TIME ZONE and I am
CGW: So there’s no plans to ever
top TIME ZONE.
RW: I don’t think it could ever be
topped by anybody. Once we got
into it and saw how big a job it was,
we were almost sorry we started it in
the first place. Now that it’s over.
I’m glad we did it, but it put a lot of
strain on our company. It wasn’t
easy. To me it was akin to making
an epic movie in the tradition of
Cecile B. DeMille. You just don’t
make sequels to things like that.
CGW: So, as far as you’re con-
cerned, TIME ZONE is something
which might be looked back upon at
some future time as a classic of it’s
RW : I hope so. That would be nice.
CG W: Is there anything you would
like to add to what you’ve told us so
RW: Yes. I feel that TIME ZONE
is going to teach people certain
things about history. I know that
some people will learn things they
never knew when they play the
game. Every now and then I threw
in certain historical facts that had
nothing to do with playing the
game, just to help teach them. In the
back of my mind I always thought
that TIME ZONE could be used as a
learning tool for teaching history in
schools. Some schools are using
adventure games to teach kids how
to think logically. In a way I like to
think that it makes history fun.M
^ of the Robot Ship
by Dave Jones
3-D Maze Game
Apple, Atari, Pet, TRS-80
Disk or Tape
Tape ($20); Disk ($25)
Avalon Hill Game Co.
4517 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214
Alone and unarmed, you stand in the corridor of
the alien space craft Voyager. Around you, lurking
in the corridors that riddle the interior of the ship,
lie in wait deadly, laser wielding robot guardians.
As the only survivor of an assault squad that
penetrated the outer hull of the space craft, you
alone must carry out the mission of the squad to
track down and destroy the robot guardians
of the ship, or, in failing that, to destroy the
generators which power the ship.
Welcome to VOYAGER I, the latest Avalon Hill
entry into the micro-gaming arena. This real-time,
science-fiction game takes place within the corridors
of the alien space craft Voyager. The object of the
game is to travel the corridors of the ship to seek
out and destroy all the robot guardians; or the ship’s
generators which will cause the ship to self-destruct.
Scattered throughout the craft are objects that can
help the player such as lasers and space shuttles,
as well as elevators which will transport the
player between levels. All commands are entered
through the keyboard, and allow the player to
move through the corridors, change facing, travel
between levels on the elevators, pick up, fire, and
charge lasers, and examine the map. A running
score is kept at the bottom of the screen, although
the scoring method is not described in the game
When booted, the game spends about 5 minutes
randomly setting up the layout of the ship. During
play, a three-dimensional picture of the corridor in
which the player is facing is drawn on 3/4 of the
screen. As the player moves or turns, the screen
is redrawn (with surprising speed) to reflect his
new position or orientation. Objects which occupy
rooms, such as elevators, shuttles, robots, and
lasers, also appear on the screen. Bar charts,
representing the status of the player’s strength
points, the laser’s power charge, and the ship’s
generator power are drawn to the right of the
viewing screen. Strength points are diminished by
moving or turning, laser charges by firing, and the
generator power every time an additional generator
is destroyed. Resting between moves will cause
strength points to accumulate, while lasers can be
recharged at generators.
A nice feature of the game is the automatic
mapping that occurs as the player traverses the
halls. At any time, by typing M, the player can see
a map of the areas of the ship he has visited, his
current location and facing, the location of any
objects he has encountered, and the number of
robots remaining. By hitting C, the player returns
to his prior location within the ship.
Continued on page 38
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There are two possibilities. Either
you will like THE SPACE GAMER,
or you won’t.
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If you’d like to read up-to-date
reviews of the newest computer
games . . . articles by game designers
. . . strategy hints . . . insights into
where the computer game hobby is
going . . . and a wide assortment of
other science fiction and fantasy
game coverage . . . then you’ll like
TSG. Otherwise, you probably
won’t — in which case you should
quit reading this ad.
Still with us? Good. THE SPACE
GAMER appears monthly. Subscrip-
tions are $21.00 for one year, or
$39.00 for two years. Canadian
subscribers, please add $5 per year.
Send your check or money order
to TSG, Box 18957-CG, Austin,
The announcement of a new computer game
from Atari is a relatively rare happening. When
one does arrive on the scene, as most recently
ASTEROIDS and MISSILE COMMAND did, it is
an exciting event. Atari game software from third
party sources, on the other hand, is now issued
almost daily. Computer store shelves are bulging
with new programs on both tape and disk. There
is, indeed, so much new software that the Atari
computer owner must discriminate carefully be-
tween game programs that are “musts”, those
that are somewhat mediocre, and unfortunately, a
few that are downright malodorous.
Determining which programs are good and
which are not worth buying is not an easy task.
Sometimes programs that promise the most or
cost the most deliver the least. Here are some rules
of thumb: 1 ) never buy a program sight unseen, no
matter how it’s hyped; 2) don’t try to judge a
program by its packaging or cost; 3) ask some one
who has played the game; 4) read the reviews in
magazines like this one to get an idea of what to
expect from this growing market.
This month we will examine more examples of
programs from new third-party sources-games
that utilize some of the Atari’s powerful graphics
First, an update is in order on Mike Potter’s
PROTECTOR, reviewed in issue 2.1, of CGW. In
that issue I stated that the game was flawed by a
few mysterious bugs that soured a promising
game. W ell, that mystery has been solved. It seems
that Mr. Potter switched companies in mid-program,
so to speak-when initially issued, the program
was unfinished. Ethics of this aside, a much more
polished version of PROTECTOR is now avail-
able from Synapse Software. This version does a
lot more and costs less too. Mike Potter displays
real virtuosity on the Atari. I can’t wait to see
what’s next from him.
Along with Chris Crawford’s EASTERN
FRONT, the Atari Pr( >gram Exchange now offers
CAVERNS OF MARS, a delightful arcade game
somewhat reminiscent of SCRAMBLE. In this
game you descend into the bowels of Mars,
blasting enemy transmitters, fuel depots, and
missiles. If you survive the descent, you can land
on and activate the nuclear device that will
by John J. Anderson
destroy the cavern. But then you’ve got to move
quickly to escape the cavern before it blows.
The really remarkable thing about this addic-
tive and excellently paced game is that it was
written by an eighteen year-old amateur, Greg
Christensen. It has all the look, feel, and play of a
“professional” program. I understand ATARI is
considering release of the game under its own
name. This would be a well-deserved compliment
to Mr. Christensen.
KAYOS, by Computer Magic Ltd., is well
named, as it pushes hand-eye coordination to the
outer limits. Although the game revolves around a
rather simple and unchanging concept, it is in no
way simple to master. A ship cruises from left to
right across the top of the screen, while you hover
at the bottom. When you hit a ship, another shape
will appear on the screen for a few seconds. This
shape is the only item of real point value in the
game, and is not easy to hit. During the game,
space debris flies at you constantly. Some of it you
can ignore, some you can vaporize, some you can
only dodge-if you’re fast enough.
Some people do not like this one because, in their
words, “it drives you nuts.” But therein lies its
truely addictive quality. This is the kind of game
that sweeps you into an altered state-after six or
seven games your head spins when you try to get
up. The sound effects are hypnotic, and when it
ends, you can feel the jolt.
What happens when you mix an “adventure-
style” game with an “arcade-style” game? J-V
Software attempts an answer to this question with
ACTION QUEST. Rather than entering coded or
text commands, as one would expect with a
conventional adventure program, this game is
played solely with joystick and trigger. Each room
poses a new challenge and a new puzzle, as you
attempt to collect all the treasures in the shortest
time. If you successfully complete a level of rooms,
you arrive at the next, more difficult, level. The
play-value of this program won’t diminish until
you’ve reached the thirtieth room, which shall
take quite some time to accomplish this.
In the next ATARI ARCADE: KRAZY SHOOT-
OUT, the first third party ROM cartridge for the
Atari computer, and REAR GUARD, from Adven-
ture International. n
SoftSide is a favorite of computer users and hobbyists aiike. They reiy on it as a
prime source of programs, reviews and articles for the Apple™, ATARI®, and TRS-
SoftSide is the magazine for the microcomputer owner who wants to learn BASIC
programming, learn MORE about BASIC programming, or just wants to have FUN!
SoftSide gives you the BASIC code listings of several programs — adventures,
utilities, games, simulations, you name it — for your computer EVERY MONTH.
Use coupon below to order. Mail to: SoftSide Publications, 6 South St., Milford,
Adventures to choose from: i
You are the sole survivor of a crew on
a mission to deiiver a cargo of oii to
Earth. A crash ianding has ieft you
stranded on a smaii pianet, harshiy
aiien but rich in iead, goid and
piatinum. You must find provisions
and a means of ieaving the planet. But
beware of the THING that massacred
Jack The Ripper Adventure
Jack the Ripper is running rampant in
London and you must stop him!
Scotland Yard demands that you take
action, and the only answer is to set
yourself up as a decoy. Be careful how
you plan your costume, or dear Jack
will laugh hysterically and leave you in
□ YES ! Send me a FREE Adventure with
my subscription to SoftSide at the special offer
of $24 yr. for 12 issues ($12 savings over news-
Please specify which computer
□ Apple (req. 24K for tape, 32K for disk)
□ ATARI® (req. 32K for tape, 40K for disk)
□ TRS-80® (req. 16K for tape, 32K for disk)
Check one: □ Disk □ Cassette
Adventures: (check one)
□ Alien □ Jack The Ripper
□ Check/Money Order
Name of Cardholder
□ MasterCard □ VISA
Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery
Apple*rM, ATARI® and TRS-60* are registered trademarks of The Apple Com-
puter Company. Warner Communications and The Tandy Corporation
Offer Expires June 30, 1982*
SOME SCENES FROM THE
7TH WEST COAST
1 . A view of the main fioor. Most companies were on
the Brooks Mali ievel (one ievei down).
2. Russeii Sipe (editor of CGW) and Suzanne Sipe
(head of operations). “Suck in your beliy” she said.
“I am” he whispered back.
3. Bruce Webster, Siiicon Cerebrum author.
4. Bob Proctor, one of our most proiific writers.
8. Scott Adams at the Adventure International booth.
9. Paul “Warp Factor” Murray (left) and Joel Billings
at the Strategic Simulations booth.
10. Chris Crawford of Atari Computer.
11. John Lyon of Strategic Simulations.
12. Left to Right: Mike Abbot, Russell Selph and Jim
Nitchals of Cavalier Computer.
5. Will Clardy of Synergistic Software.
6. The gang at On-Line. From the left: Lord British,
Ken Williams, John “Don’t get the red in my blood
shot eyes” Williams, Paul Malachowski, and Kevin
7. Goshilla (alias Chris Moehrke) finds a morsel to
his liking in Joyce Lane, advertising director at
13. Dave Gordon (right) and Norm Baker, big
wheels at Data Most.
14. Detail of the Adventure International booth.
15. A crowd at the Sirius Software booth.
16. Ted “Quick, snap the picture, I can’t be charming
all day” Gillam of TG Products.
17. The Adventure International booth.
Gaming by phone is nothing new. Due to
advances in telecommunications, national net-
works are rapidly becoming more popular. Al-
though there are many networks, most are special
interest, and have only a couple of phone numbers
in the country-the major cost is the phone bill for
these. There are two general purpose networks
open to nearly everyone-Compuserve and The
Source. Both provide a much broader area of
service than simply games, but this article will
concentrate principally upon their games.
Signing up is fairly simple-for The Source, see a
large (or even reasonably sized) computer dealer.
The biggest disadvantage to The Source is the
one-time sign-up fee of (gasp) $100. However, I feel
it is well worth it. You must write CompuServe to
get their service (5000 Arlington Centre Boule-
vard, Columbus, Ohio 43220). For a fee, they will
give you an account number and password which
allows you to hook up. You will need, at the very
least, a terminal and a modem. Though, you may
need more, depending on your own system. The
Source is more expensive, but I haven’t heard
anyone yet who, having used both systems,
preferred CompuServe. After the sign-up, the two
networks are approximately equal in cost.
There are many games duplicated (or very
similar) on both networks. These are: Adventure
(the clasic Crowther and Woods); Blackjack; Civil
War (a simulation); Mastermind; Football; Golf;
Hangman; Lunar Lander; Star Trek; Backgammon;
Craps; Chess; Hammurabi (where you get to be the
ruler of an ancient civilization-planting crops,
and feeding the population); Maze (generation)
and Wumpus (hunt it-bats, pits, and the wumpus).
In addition, CompuServe has the following
game programs: New Advent (A 750 point version
of Adventure); Fantasy (a game I had trouble
finding how to play-it appears to be some kind of
adventure or war game); Gomoku; Space War;
Concentration; Cube Solver (a real sanity aid);
Furs (fur trading in eighteenth-century Canada);
Dec wars; Real- Time Trek; Scramble; Scott Adam ’s
Adventure; Othello; Pirates and my favorite
advice column-Aunt Nettie.
The Source has Blackdragon (Wizardry-type
game); Super Blackjack; Bridge; Poker; Checkers;
Farmer; Splgam (A spelling quiz); King (rule the
Setats Detinu. A modern version of Hammurabi);
Horse Race; Iching; Iqtest; Life (keep your colonies
alive); Market (market a product); Nim; Nim2;
Watchman; Pica; Pits (another adventure-type
game); Sumer; Scorefour; Sinners (lots of fun!! Try
and get the three devils in a line); Slalom; Onearm
(a slot machine game); Sonnet; Dates; Adv550 (A
550 point version of Adventure with an improved
command parser); Target Practice; Qubic; Estic
(Tic Tac Toe in Spanish); Toro; and (whew!!)
In addition to the games they already have, both
are open to new ones. Also, many users are
dedicated gamers (computer and otherwise)-there
are tons of Wizardry players listed in the User
Directory on The Source.
In addition to traditional games. The Source has
Post-basically a classified bulletin board. Cat-
egories of interest here are: Apple, Atari, Chatter
(lots of strange stuff in this one!!). Clubs, Fairs-
and-Festivals, Games, Heath, Hobbies-and-
Crafts, Hug (Heath Users Group), IBM, NEC,
Osborne, OSI, PET, Puzzles, Sayings, TRS-80.
There are many more categories, with more on the
Also, The Source has C(iat-lots of fun. Chat is a
command that lets you talk with another user. You
can find out who is currently on the system by
typing Online. Then, you can chat with someone
by typing Chat followed by their account number.
There are also ways of blocking out Chat in case
you don’t want to be bothered by motor-mouths
There are many possibilities in gaming via
modem. The only real disadvantage (other than
cost and baud rate) is that the network cannot take
advantage of a particular machine unless it only
caters to that machine. Thus, graphics are
something we may never see on remote games,
nevertheless, the games are enjoyable, and the
networks puts you in touch with gamers you might
not have known otherwise. |g|
A Hayes modem
makes it possible.
Your personal computer could be do-
ing a lot more for you. It could be communi-
cating over ordinary telephone lines with
any location in North America . . . any time
of the day or night. With the help of a Hayes
modem (Smartmodem™ Micromodem IT"
and Micromodem 100*), you can send
and receive reports from your home or
office, and exchange messages or pro-
grams with personal computer owners
hundreds of miles away. You can even
get the stock reports, today's Washington
Post, airline schedules and movie reviews
by subscribing to one of several informa-
tion utilities. The possibilities seem end-
less. Modems are clearly the way of the
future. And Hayes leadsthe way— today
Smartmodem is a smart buy. ^
When it comes to features and per-
formance, Smartmodem tops the
300-baud modem market. With the
Smartmodem, your IBM Personal inH
Computer, TRS-80 Model ll)“
XEROX 820 - or any computer
with RS-232C I/O — can communicate
with all other computers using Bell 103-
type modems. Smartmodem can answer
calls, dial numbers, receive and transmit
data, and disconnect. . . all automatically.
Many cheaper modems connect to
a telephone receiver, which can cause
distortions and transmission losses.
Smartmodem plugs right into
your telephone jack ... no phone f T
needed! And thanks to an internal I A
speaker, you can actually listen I ▼
to your connection being made.
That way you’ll know immediately if the line
is busy or if you reached a wrong number.
No wonder Smartmodem is, well, a
smart modem. And it stacks neatly atopother
Hayes peripherals, like the Hayes Stack
Chronograph^" RS-232C calendar/clock,
M icromodem II . . . exclusively for
Apple II " owners. The same quality and
automatic features associated with Hayes
Smartmodem are built right in the Hayes
3s. direct-connect Micromodem II. It's easy
m to see why more Apple II owners choose
■ ■ Hayes Micromodem
II than any other
I ICly modem in the world.
^ Don't settle for
anything less than Hayes. . .Smartmodem,
Micromodem II and Micromodem 100 for
S-100 bus computers. Available at com-
puter stores nationwide.
Put your personal
computer on the line!
I'm ready to talk! Please send info on:
□ Smartmodem FI Micromodem 100
□ Micromodem II [ ] Chronograph
MAIL TO: Hayes Microcomputer Products
^ 5835 Peachtree Corners East
^ Norcross, Georgia 30092
^ OR CALL: (404) 449-8791
Smartmodem, Chronograph. Micromodem II and Micromodem 100 are Irademarks ol Hayes Microcompuler Producis. Inc. © 1982 Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. TRS-80 Model II isa Irade-
mark ol Radio Shack. XEROX' and 820 are Irademarks of XEROX CORPORATION. Apple II is a trademark of Apple Computer. Inc.
The most critical component in a board game is
the board. The most difficult component of a board
game to simulate (not just represent) on a computer
is the board; especially if the program has to be
able to “read” it in order to move or place units. I
ran into these principals when, for a graduate
class in artificial intelligence, I was required to
write a program which would play GO against
other programs. The board in GO is simplicity
itself -- a rectangular grid, with non-moving black
and white stones placed on the intersections - and
yet it was extremely difficult to get my program to
“see” moves and patterns that were immediately
apparent to my novice glance.
The same problems exist with almost all games
involving a map or board of any sort. It is often
called the “Cyclops” problem, referring to the
computer’s ability to see only one small section
(hex, square, intersection) of the board at a time,
while we blithely take the whole thing in at a
glance. Patterns and situations which are obvious
to us can be amazingly difficult for a computer
program to “perceive.” And so we must develop
certain tools and techniques to help our programs
to see just what’s happening.
Since it is easy for a program to examine one
map location at a time, one solution to the Cyclops
problem is to somehow put information about the
entire map into each location. In other words, each
location would contain a value or values that let
the program know something about that location
with respect to the entire board.
One such technique has been developed for the
game of GO (Uhr, 1973; Zobrist, 1969). GO is a
highly visual game. In it, players must carefully
scrutinize the board in order to detect both global
and local patterns and influences.. .precisely the
type of effort with which computers have so much
trouble. Zobrist, in trying to create a program to
play GO, used a simple but effective method for
what he called “perceptual grouping,” i.e., being
able to “see” how the groups of stone influenced
one another. His program uses another array the
same size as the board (19 by 19). First, it sets all
locations equal to zero. It then places a positive
value (50) in each location corresponding to a
black stone and a negative value (-50) in each
corresponding to a white stone. The program then
makes a new copy of the array, with each new
location receiving its old value modified by the
four locations adjacent to it. The value is increased
by one for each adjacent location containing a
positive (non-zero) value and decreased by one for
each adjacent location containing a negative
value. The new array becomes the old one, and the
update process is repeated several times.
This technique produces an array showing how
much influence each side - black and white - has
on a given location. The sign of the number
indicates who is controlling it (black is positive;
white, negative), while the magnitude shows how
strong is the control. Values close to zero show
locations that neither side really controls. Portions
of the map containing adj acent locations all of the
same sign indicate territories controlled by a
given side, while adjacent locations of different
signs show boundaries between such territories.
Finally, counting all the locations on the board of
a given sign shows just how much on the entire
map each side controls.
USE IN WARGAMES
I’ve been playing around with this method to see
how much it could help with computer wargames,
and I think that it could be very useful. Here’s an
example. Figure 1 shows an extremely simple
wargame-like situation. Terrain, ranged combat,
and unit types have been ignored for the sake of
simplicity. Each side has the same number of
pieces, all of which have an equal amount of
influence. For the sake of discussion, let’s call the
units which point to the left “bosons” and those
that point to the right, “quarks”.
As you examine the board, a number of points
come to your attention. The bosons in the lower
right corner have what looks to be a fairly strong
position. The quarks also have a fairly tight for-
mation and appear to have walled the bosons into
a relatively small area of the board. Finally, the
boson in the upper right corner has been cut off
from the rest of his group and is not in a very
strong position at all.
Y ou probably had very little trouble extracting
this information from Figure 1. Indeed, most of it
would have been apparent at a glance. Think of
how difficult it would be to get a program to “see”
all that! And yet that information would be very
valuable in helping the program to decide what to do
Figure 2 shows the results of applying the
perceptual grouping algorithm to the same situation.
Each location containing a boson was given a value
of 50, while each quark location was set to -50; all
others were set to zero. The only difference is that
each location here has six neighbors, not just four.
The update portion of the algorithm was executed
five times, which was enough to show boundaries
between quark and boson territory but not enough
to extend the quark territory all the way to the left
side of the board.
As you can see, this very simple method confirms
our three observations. The main group of bosons
have a strong position but control little territory
compared to the quarks. All of the quarks are
secure, and the boson in the upper right corner is
indeed cut off from the others. It also shows that
the uppermost boson of the main group is in an
exposed position. It has the lowest location value
of all the bosons, and the hexes to the left and right
of it are pretty much “up for grabs.”
This technique is easily implemented - 1 wrote a
quick-and-dirty version of it for this article in just
an hour or two - but from it two questions arise.
First, in what ways can a program use this
information? Second, what about factors like
terrain, movement, combat, and unit differentia-
tion? Well, those are precisely the questions I plan
to cover in the next few columns. In the meantime,
if you have additional questions or would like
actual program listings, feel free to write. If you
want listings, be sure to state what language
you’re using (BASIC, FORTH, Pascal, an assembly
language, etc.), and I’ll try to tailor my response to
fit your needs. I can be reached at:
Bruce F. Webster
9264 Grossmont Blvd.
La Mesa, CA 92041.
UHR, LEONARD, Pattern Recognition, Learning,
and Thought. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-
Hall, 1973. Chapter 12 discusses GO and Zobrist’s
ZOBRIST, A. L., “A model of visual organization
for the game of GO,” AFIPS Conf. Proc., 1969, 34,
To scroll across the monitor of life...
JABBERTALKY, IN DEPTH
Apple II; TRS-80
Disk (Both); Tape (TRS-80)
Norman D. Lane; Bernie
P.O. Box 4247
Mountain View, CA 94040
When Lewis Carroll first published Through the
Looking Glass in 1871, 1 am sure that even in his
wildest dreams, he never imagined that his
nonsense poem about the “Jabberwock” would,
more than 100 years later, form the story line for
an educational computer game. JABBERTALKY
is Automated Simulations’ programmable word
game, published under their new label. Mind Toys.
The story begins with young Alice as she boots
the game diskette and is transported to the realm
of Jabbertalky, with the Jabbertalker as her guide.
by Marty Halpern
Immediately she is confronted with “The Great
Door” and must choose which land to enter -- Free
Verse, Alphagrammar, Cryptogrammar, or Jab-
Choosing what she hopes will be the safest,
Alice enters Free Verseland. It is here that Alice
must make her second decision, whether or not to
choose a special vocabulary. Being the beginner
that she really is, Alice decides not to do anything
“special” just yet.
(Note: In an earlier interview with the Jabber-
talker, I learned that there are, in fact, three
vocabularies from which to choose -- General,
Headline, and Vocab. To choose no special
vocabulary is the same as choosing Vocab, for this
is the language in which the J abbertalker normally
speaks. Hint; The three vocabularies are text files;
selecting any other file from the catalog will bomb
the program and the disk will have to be re-booted.
Also, to load any one of these vocabularies
requires nearly two full minutes so the Jabber-
talker advises the player to have patience while
the disk drive whirs and stops, whirs and stops...)
This is indeed a time for decisions as Alice is
faced with another question. She must now select
the level of difficulty of the game, ranging from
“1” to “8” (most difficult). Remembering once
again that she is just a beginner, Alice chooses
Immediately the monitor goes blank, and then
words begin to appear as the Jabbertalker writes
out his very silly, illogical (though always
grammatically correct) sentences. By increasing
the level of difficulty of the game, Alice learns that
the vocabulary and sentence structure also in-
crease in difficulty. In fact, by the time the
Jabbertalker reaches Level 8, he is simply beside
himself and gushes forth with this sentence: “In
the weapon of the parent’s only deceiver is the
noblest kernel of doom.”
Whew! Tiring of all this nonsense, Alice inter-
rupts the Jabbertalker by hitting the space bar
and once again finds herself before “The Great
This time Alice chooses Alpha Grammarland,
as she types in the appropriate key. The screen
changes, and before her eyes appear a series of
blotches and spaces in a kind of pattern. Above the
blotches are letters (all in alphabetical order), and
above each letter is a number. Alice thought and
thought and then realized that Alpha Grammar is
a lot like the game “Hangman” which she played
when she was much younger. The Jabbertalker
has provided her with a sentence pattern and she
must fill in the blotches with the correct letters
from those given. When a letter is placed in its
proper space within the sentence, it is removed
from the listing above. The Jabbertalker even
keeps track of the incorrect letters Alice trys so
that time isn’t wasted by trying the same letter
more than once.
2 1 6 2 1 ,3 3 1 1 3 31 2 2
A-C- E- -H- - - L-NOP-R-TUV- - YZ
III III Hill nil III III III Him
(Note: The Jabbertalker, old and wise as he is,
has no need to worry about time. But, he does
make the player work against time, starting at
“10” and decreasing. However, the Jabbertalker
informed me that the player could simply ignore
the time, because when time runs out it auto-
matically restarts at “10” and decreases again
and again. This will, of course, affect your score,
but then who’s counting anyway.)
Finally, Alice completes her very first Alpha
Grammar sentence. It took much longer than she
had thought, but she knew that practice would
increase her speed as she became more familiar
with the Jabbertalker ’s vocabulary. With these
thoughts of confidence dancing in her head, Alice
ventured forth into Cryptogrammarland.
However, the journey from this point on will
become rather difficult for young Alice. So, as not
to discourage her in continuing her discoveries, we
will leave her at this point and press on ourselves...
In Cryptogrammar, we are confronted with
sentences in which each letter of the alphabet is
substituted for another letter. At Level 1, for
example, you might see a sentence that looks like
LF VHMMHXVG ODUGDJ HV FDCJ
Pressing the “S” key calls up the question -
“Swap which two letters?”-and in this manner
the player begins deciphering the sentence.
Swapping an “H” for an “I” will change all “H’s”
in the sentence to “Fs” and vice versa. Should you
try to swap an incorrect pair of letters, the
Jabbertalker will be most happy to inform you
that you are “wrong”, but at the first level only!
Beyond that, he will let you swap whatever pairs
of letters you wish, no matter how silly the swap
turns out to be.
(Hint: At Level 1, at least, keep a written list of
all correct swaps. If you swap an “H” for an “I”
and then later forget that you made this swap, the
Jabbertalker will let you swap back the “I” for an
“H”. Remember, it is still a correct swap but you
will end up back where you started. Beyond Level
1, however, you are on your own.)
At the higher levels of difficulty, the Jabber-
talker becomes even more cryptic. Two additional
command keys become available, “F” (Flip) and
“M” (Move). When the cursor is placed at the
beginning of a word and the “F” key is depressed,
the word is reversed. For example, if the
deciphered word is “REYWAL,” the “F” key will
flip it to “LAWYER”. Also, there is a distinct
possibility that a space or two might be missing
from a sentence. This means that what appears to
be a very long word may turn out to be two smaller
words (and one of them may be flipped, too!).
Pressing the “M” key will add a space wherever
the cursor is positioned within the sentence.
Of course, the more difficult levels use a more
challenging vocabulary, and don’t forget that the
time keeps running, too. In the end, should you
give up on a cryptogram and seek the Jabber-
talker’s help, simply press the “ESCape” key and
he will reveal the true answer. This will work for
any Alphagram, too.
(Note: In both Alphagrammar and Cryptogrammar,
the player has the option to review the many
vocabulary lists from which the sentences are
constructed, as an aid in deciphering the
sentences. However, I found this to be of little help.
If you believe the word you seek is a noun, then
there are four lists (more, if you choose a special
vocabulary) to review, each list containing a
dozen or so words. Knowing the first letter of the
word will, of course, narrow down the words from
which to choose. Also, if one is indeed playing
against the clock, this process is most time
Oh! Yes. The solution to the aforementioned
cryptogram sentence is:
MY SILLIEST DOCTOR IS YOUR HAPPIEST
And finally, to enter Jabber grammar land is to
enter the home of the Jabbertalker, for it is here
that we find the necessary tools for creating our
own special vocabulary.
The instruction booklet follows Alice step by
step as she creates her own vocabulary, entitled
Headline. I found some of the steps to be a bit
steep, so beware of stumbling.... The player may
want to load Headline from the game diskette and
experiment with the editing commands to become
familiar with this particular mode.
(Note: Alice is a VERY contemporary individual,
for she is both socially and politically aware. Her
Headline vocabulary, at the higher levels of dif-
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ficulty, contains such words as “Spokesperson,”
“Gay lib,” “ERA,” “Abortion,” “PLO,” “ABSCAM,”
and “Marijuana.” Indeed, “Headline” is a most
apropos title for such a vocabulary.)
Now, to create one’s own vocabulary. Enter the
“Edit Vocabulary” mode of Jabbergrammar and you
will see a listing of all the editing commands at the
top of your screen. The “Show List” command will
reveal any word or syntax list of your choosing.
Each letter of the alphabet represents a word list,
and each number from “0” through “9”, a syntax
list. In the case of Headline, an “A ’’will call up the
listof'T/imgs”, whereas “J5”represents “Acts”, and
“7” is “Noun Phrases (Person).”
Getting started on a new vocabulary: Select List
“A” and the Jabbertalker will reply that the list is
“empty”. Now, begin Inserting appropriate words
for that list. You can choose any level of difficulty,
between “1 ” and “8”, for each word. If you do not
enter a specific level of difficulty for a word, the
J abbertalker will automatically enter it as Level 1 .
Also, all words are automatically alphabetized
within each level in a list. If you make an error, or
simply wish to remove a particular word from a
list, there is a Delete command for this purpose.
(Hint: The words contained in each list MUST
be of the same class - nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
- for your vocabulary to be successful.)
A Print option is available for producing a
hardcopy of your special vocabulary. There is also
a Save option for saving your special vocabulary
on the disk. Unfortunately, no provision exists for
creating a separate text file diskette.
(Hint: J ust before saving your special vocabulary,
remove the game diskette from the disk drive and
insert an initialized blank diskette. You can save
and call up your special vocabulary in this
Should you choose to save your special vocabulary
on the game diskette itself, there is no option for
deleting the vocabulary except word by word, list
But don’t think you are finished now, you’ve still
got a long way to go. The Jabbertalker does NOT
create sentences from your vocabulary alone, you
must also give him the sentence structures. After
creating your vocabulary, you must then create
master sentence patterns and phrases - the syntax
lists! For example, a master pattern might be
The “/” key is used to tell the Jabbertalker where
to punctuate, when to add possessive, prefixes,
suffixes, etc. Anything given between the slashes
will be printed as is. This is also how words like
“the”, “an”, “is”, and “a”are added to sentences.
Continued on p. 37
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SPELLS, COURAGE, CHARISMA, CUNNING, AND WISDOM.
SURVIVE THE JOURNEY.. .LIVE TO TALK ABOUT IT!
THE APPLE II COMPUTER AND YOUR TREK TO THE
DEEPEST MOST REACHES OF YOUR IMAGINATION...
FOR ALL YOUR D & D, ADVENTURE, AND STRAGEGY
NEEDS, WRITE FOR ACOMPLETE DIRECTORY OF IMAGINA-
THE GREATEST BASEBALL
TEAM OF ALL TIME -
In our first issue (Nov. -Dec. 1981 - 1.1) we
announced a computer baseball tournament to
determine the greatest team in history. Called
THE GREATEST BASEBALL TEAM OF ALL
TIME (GBTOAT) TOURNAMENT it pitted eight
great teams of the past in a contest to determine
which was the best. A book entitled COMPUTER
SPORTS MATCHUPS (by Julian E. Compton,
Tempo Books, 1981, $2.50) held a similar tour-
nament in which the 1927 Yankees came away
winners. The GBTOAT tournament uses the same
teams as Compton’s book (i.e. 27 Yanks, 31
Athletics, 48 Indians, 61 Yanks, 55 Dodgers, 36
Yanks, 34 Cards, 76 Reds). Our readers were
encouraged to use either SSI’s COMPUTER
BASEBALL or Avalon Hill’s MAJOR LEAGUE
BASEBALL to play the tournament.
After playing the tournament in the offices at
CGW I can attest that there is a LOT of work
involved. I am pleased therefore, that three other
readers took the time to play the tournament out to
conclusion (other readers started but never fin-
ished). Here are the results.
COMPUTER GAMING WORLD’S
REPLAY OF GBTOAT TOURNEY
The first match up of round I saw the 1931
Philadelphia Athletics knock off the favored 1927
New York Yankees 4-2. Babe Ruth hit three
homers but one was in a rained out game and thus
did not count.
31 ATHLETICS VS. 27 YANKEES
Avg.— Earle Combs (NY) .518
HR- Babe Ruth (NY) 2
Jimmie Foxx (Ph| 2
Also in first round action, the 1948 Indians
defeated the 1961 Yankees. Roger Maris hit two
game-winning home runs in a losing cause.
48 INDIANS VS. 61 YANKEES
Avg.— Lou Boudreau (Clevj .423
HR— Roger Maris (NY) 3
The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers won their first
round contest with the 1936 New York Yankees
thus eliminating any chance for a Y ankee team to
win CGW’s version of GBTOAT.
55 DODGERS VS. 36 YANKEES
Avg.— George Selkirk (NY) .428
HR- Lou Gehrig (NY) 3
Duke Snider (BK) 3
The final first round series pitted the 1934 Gas
House Gang Cardinals against the 1976 Big Red
Machine Cincinnati Reds. Both teams turned in
great offensive performances with team batting
averages of .321 (Reds) and .316 (Cardinals). The
Reds also took the series.
1976 REDS VS. 1934 CARDINALS
#1- CINN. 5
#2- CINN. 5
#3- STL. 9
#4- STL. 8
#5- STL. 9
#6- CINN. 9
#7- CINN. 9
Avg.— Ken Griffey |CN| .483
Joe Medwick |SL|.464
HR- Pete Rose |CN| 2
Tony Perez (CN) 2
In second round action the 1931 Athletics downed
1948 Indians in seven games.
t93t ATHLETtCS VS. tg48 tNOfANS
Avg.— Ai Simmons |PH| .538
Mute Haas (PH) .533
HR— At Simmons (PH) 4
The other second round series resulted in a 4-1
series win for the 1976 Cincinnati Reds over the
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. Gary Nolan and Jack
Billingham each pitched a shutout against the
Dodgers and led their team to an amazing team
ERA of 1.36.
1976 REDS VS. 1955 DODGERS
#1- CiNN. 2
#2- CtNN. 6
#3- BRKL. 4
#4- CtNN. 7
#5- CtNN. 3
Avg.— Tony Perez .588
HR- Gii Hodges |BK| 2
In the exciting finals the 1931 Philadelphia
Athletics defeated the 1976 Cincinnati Reds in
seven games to win the GBTOAT tourney played
at CGW. The seventh game was an extra-inning
thriller in which the lead changed hands three
times . After the Athletics jumped out to a 4-1 lead
George Foster hit a two run homer in the 5th to
make the score 4-3. Joe Morgan followed in the 7th
inning with his fourth homer of the seven game
series-a two run shot that put the Reds on top. The
A’s tied it up in the 9th and sent the game into
extra innings. The A’s loaded the bases with no
one out in the 10th but were able to push across
only one run. However, this turned out to be
enough as the Reds left a runner in scoring
position when Cesar Geronimo drove Bing Miller
to the warning track with the last out of the game.
1931 ATHLETICS VS. 1976 REDS
#1- PHIL. 6 CINN. 1
#2- CINN. 6 PHIL. 1
#3- PHIL. 4 CINN. 3
#4- CINN. 11 PHIL. 4
#5- PHIL. 16 CINN. 0
#6- CINN. 4 PHIL. 3
#7- PHIL. 6 CINN. 5
Avg.— AI Simmons |PH| .484
HR— Joe Morgan (CN) 4
Three readers sent in results of their GBTOAT
option of letting the computer coach both teams
(as we did at CGW). This reduces the possibilities
of biased coaching to almost nil. Rick Mottley used
COMPUTER BASEBALL but did not indicate if
the “spectator option” (our phrase) was used. Mike
McGoey did not include information as to which
game he used.
[ 55 DODGERS
So. Pasadena, CA
Harrington Park, NJ
1 27 YANKEES
1 36 YANKEES
I 34 CARDINALS
River Ridge, LA
So we have four different tournaments with four
different winners. Amazed? I guess all those
baseball fans who love to spend hours arguing
about which team is the greatest are not just
blowing hot air. Maybe there isn’t a GREATEST
TEAM. We’ve always been partial to the California
Angels around here. Any takers? B
Hi-res Sport Game
Apple II (48K)
TRS-80 Model I (32K/16K)
Disk or Tape
1 to 6
Timothy W. Smith
10700 Northup Way
Bellevue, WA 98004
What kind of list would be compiled if the same
question were to be asked about computer games?
Before you read any further about one of my
favorite games, why don’t you compile a list of say
five games that you would take with you to that
bomb shelter or on that lonely space flight to
Without a doubt, one of the games on my list
would be Microsoft’s OLYMPIC DECATHLON
(hereafter OD). OD has all of the characteristics
that are required of a long-lasting, quality game.
The premise of the game is something to which
almost everyone can relate. Having supurb graphics
and sound, it plays well solitaire and shines as a
multi-player game. It remains interesting and fun
to play long after other computer games are buried
in your library.
We have all been asked the question “If, for
whatever reason, you could only have (insert
number) books to read for the rest of your life what
would they be’’. It is an important question since it
forces us to evaluate the worth of all books. Which
ones will remain fresh over the years? Which ones
will provide whatever we feel a book should
In OD, every player competes in each of the ten
events of the decathlon. Two events (Shot Put,
Hurdles), require paddles while the remaining
eight require keyboard pounding. I say “pounding”,
because what one does at the keyboard during any
event can hardly be called data entry. In the 100
and 400 meter dashes, for example, players rapidly
pound two keys which propels them down the
track. I never thought that I’d see the day when
I would get muscle strain from “entering data”.
After many events, you are likely to find your
heart pounding almost as rapidly as it would were
you competing “live”.
You are told during the striking introductory
sequence that the world record for the Olympic
Decathlon is 8,168 points set by Bruce Jenner in
the 1976 Montreal Olympics. For those who wish
to compete against his scores, the rule book lists
them as follows:
100 METER DASH-
400 METER DASH-
1500 METER RUN-
Beating Jenner’s score takes practice, but most
players do so given time. Microsoft indicates that
the highest scores they know of (March 1982) are
10,901 (Apple version) and 11,118 (TRS-80 version).
For those of you who are beginners at the game,
here are a few tips that helped me to increase my
scores (which are higher than Jenner’s but not
nearly as high as the Microsoft record. In the 100
and 400 meter dash all you do is alternately strike
two keys (e.g. the “1” and “2” keys). I found that
my scores shot up dramatically when I ignored
what was happening on the screen and kept my
eyes on the keys. Concentrate on rapid strokes in
which your fingers never leave the keys. Raising
your fingers even a fraction will slow you down.
In the shot put I find that exploding the triceps
to about 35% followed in sequence by shoulders to
50%, triceps on up to 100% and shoulders to 100%
would put the shot out to the 18 meter range and
occasionally off the screen.
The first key in the hurdles is to avoid knocking
down the hurdles, which slow you down consid-
erably. Once you can do this on a regular basis try
developing a three-step/jump four-step/jump
sequence. In my early runs I developed a three-
step/jump routine which cleared the hurdles nice-
ly but produced scores which were only so-so-to get
more speed I needed to take more steps between
hurdles. I eventually developed a technique by
which I run three steps, jump in such a way to
come down just beyond the hurdle, take four rapid
steps, jump, land further beyond the next hurdle,
and then repeat the process.
My most frustraing event is the discus throw.
This event requires you to set a percentage of
strength given to turning. The higher the per-
centage the farther you will throw the discus and
the harder it is to throw between the “out of
bounds” lines. It is relatively easy to make a
“good” throw at only 75-85%, but your distance
from the resulting score will be quite low. To get a
decent score, you must set your turning strength in
the 95-100% range. Unfortunately, making a
“good” throw at this level can be very difficult. If
the safety cage in this event showed dents from all
the times the player had flung the discus against
it, my cage would look like someone had set a few
bombs off inside it.
An aid in the pole vault, at greater heights, is to
keep sufficient momentum while having to grip
the pole higher up. This isn’t easy. I find that the
pole can be gripped at least 10 centimeters below
the point equivalent to the height which you are
jumping; thus providing a little less “drag” on
your forward momentum.
In the javelin throw, run as suggested in the
dashes until your man gets about 10 meters from
the end of the runway. While frantically hitting
the arrow keys, you can strike the keyboard with a
clump of fingers in the “T” key area (no need to
waste time looking for the specific key. Do not hit
the return key just above the arrow key! I have
often been flying down the runway at high speed
only to hit the return key and watch my javalin
streak off in a straight line. I find that an angle of
about 45° gives the longest throws.
The 1500-meter run can easily ruin a good
overall score. Somewhat like an auto race game, you
must keep your figure from crashing into the
“walls”. If you hit the wall you must get off the
wall quickly in the right direction; otherwise you
will slow down and even end up going the wrong
direction. If you get flustered while on the wall,
you can end up starting from a dead stop and be
out of contention for a decent score. Try to keep
your figure in the center of the track and practice
this event a million times.
Speaking of practice-OD allows practice ses-
sions on any of the events. In this way you can
practice the same event repeatedly without going
through the whole game.
I’m sure that many of you have even better
suggestions for high scores than mine. Please
write us and, if they’re good suggestions, we’ll
OLYMPIC DECATHLON is one of the truly
classic computer games. Get it not only for the fun
of it, but because it is an important contribution to
the computer gaming hobby. (■]
TRS-80 Model 1, 16K
Disk and Tape
Mike Wall and
Longwood, FL 32750
Almost every neophyte programmer has been
bitten by the “LUNAR LANDER” bug at one time
or another. As soon as you have mastered print
and input statements, you begin looking around
for some fun programs to create or modify. One of
the first that most of us find is some rudimentary
version of “Landing A Space Ship On The Moon
Without Smashing It Into Little Pieces”. This first
attempt at “LASSOTMWSIILP” probably con-
sisted of simple print and input statements,
coupled with a straight algebraic equation
formula for calculating speed, altitude and fuel
consumption. The entire program consisted of
about 12 lines of basic code and fit into some 500
bytes of memory. Our appetites had only been
stimulated, certainly not satisfied! Blurry eyed
and with numbed fingers, you pounded the
keyboard well into the wee, small hours of the
morning, creating ever more complex and
challenging “LASSOTMWSIILP’s”, complete with
variable weight and velocity calculations,
realistic input responses, and perhaps even real-
time control and action! Finally, reaching the
pinnacle of your programming skills, you
tentatively ventured into the “set” and “reset”
world of TRS-80 graphics, watching little square
space ships descend to the lunar landscape.
If that’s your current level of “LASSOTMWSIILP”
sophistication, and you’re still looking for the
ultimate moon lander... then this program was
made for you! Adventure International’s version
of “LUNAR LANDER”, released in 1980, presents
a diverting challenge that can occupy you for just
a few minutes or up to several hours at a time. It
simulates an Apollo moon shot mission during the
last few minutes of the descent of the Lunar
Excursion Module (LEM) to the lunar surface.
The controls are simple. The space bar provides
a downward blast from the main rocket engine to
slow your descent (or shoot you back up into space
if you over-do it.) The right and left arrow keys
provide horizontal directional control through
small thruster jets on the side of the lander;
operation of which these thruster jets takes a bit of
practice. The right arrow fires the left jet, thus
moving the craft to the right. The left arrow fires
the right jet, moving the craft to the left. It all
works out, but be careful on your first few attempts
at getting into some of the tighter landing sites.
You’re sure to hit the wrong arrow at some critical
point and go careening into a wall of lunar rock.
The lunar terrain is a fanciful cross between the
New York skyline and the Swiss Alps. There’s not
a flat meteor impact crater in sight! If Neal
Armstrong had encountered this topography on
his moon landing, he would have turned around
and headed back for terra firma! Nevertheless,
you’re expected to find a suitably flat landing spot
and maneuver into it without “smashing into a lot
of little pieces”. Notice that I said “manuever into
it” and not “onto it”. Some of the landing sites
resemble an overhung sea-side cave rather than
the surface of the moon. Y ou definitely must move
“into” it, going sideways, up, down and around,
rather than the more conventional straight
vertical descent to a soft touchdown at Tranquility
Base. All of this creates a suitable challenge for
the more adept space adventurers and serves to
maintain the interest of less dexterous keyboard
manipulators (such as myself) who gaze in awe at
today’s nimble fingered whiz-kids.
Each landing site is given a difficulty rating of
from 100 to 900 (the single nine hundred pointer
resembles a pretzel). Your total score is based on
the points accumulated by successive safe
landings on a given allotment of fuel. You are sent
back up to try again with the remaining fuel after
each successful landing.. .or crash. The program
keeps a record of the highest score achieved during
each session of play.
A classic example of the conflict between
realism and playability in games has found its
way into this program. Obviously, a game is more
fun if you can keep at it, achieving higher and
higher scores, and continually attempting to
surpass your previous best efforts. Just as
obviously, once a lunar vehicle is out of fuel, that
should be the end of it, no matter how good you are.
Not so, in “Lunar Lander”! In order to allow an
accomplished player to continue his winning
streak, one of the landing sites is stocked with a
fuel supply which can be used to replenish the
lander and continue on to greater heights.
Supposedly the fuel was storeo there by a previous
mission. Not realistic perhaps, lut it does make
the game more playable.
For those who have struggled vith simple basic
graphics commands... eat yo'ir hearts out! The
whole program runs in machine language, and the
graphics are outstanding! The lunar module first
appears as a simple shape at tire op of the screen.
But as you approach the lunar surface, the visual
range narrows in width, so that everything on the
screen enlarges to provide greater detail. The
entire screen image scrolls to nther right or left,
providing the suggestion of a continuous
landscape. The machine language provides fast
screen image update and the whole visual effect is
quite smooth. The lunar surface is well designed,
with shading lines creating i hint of size and
Simple sound effects are available if an
amplifier is connected to the grey output plug. The
sound consists of short radar like beeps, a low fuel
warning bleep, a static-like explosion when you
crash and a little musical salute, complete with
flag raising, when you land safely. Nothing great,
but certainly adequate for the intended purpose.
All in all, the program is excellent, but I do have
some suggestions for future revisions. Most lunar
lander programs begin the descent from a much
higher altitude, giving the player an opportunity
to work out a fuel management strategy starting
from the actual lunar orbital speed and altitude.
The inclusion of this aspect of the descent would
require consideration of variables such as weight
vs. density ratios, acceleration factors, and
inertial energy. It would add a bit of strategic
challenge for those who enjoy games for a mental
as well as a finger exercise.
Two other improvements would aid in the control
of the lander itself. The first concerns the main
engine control. When the space bar is pressed, the
power is on, when released, it is off. There’s
nothing in-between. This makes control difficult
in the cramped quarters of seme of the landing
sites, where finer control inputs would be
valuable-something other than the all or nothing
now available. Finally, readouts of descent and
horizontal velocities might prove helpful. Without
accurate speed information, you’re flying
somewhat blind; depending on visual cues which do
not keep you fully informed of your status.
In spite of these suggestions, however, I have no
real complaints. Adventure International has a
winning program here. It is just as advertised-a
quality version of an old standby. It just makes me
a bit envious when I look at some of my early
efforts at creating a “LASSOTMWSIILP”
Apple II (48K)
9748 Cozycroft Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Piracy on the high seas, of course, is the piracy
to which I refer. But to say SWASHBUCKLER is
a game about piracy wouldn’t really be correct.
SWASHBUCKLER is a fantastic hi-resolution
test of skill and accuracy, wherein a player
controls a tiny swordsman who weaves, spins, parries,
lunges, and crosses swords with a vast host of
bedraggled (yet dangerous) crew members aboard
a seaborne ship. But before I get too far into game
content, let’s take a look at the product in stages,
as will you, should you decide to purchase it.
SWASHBUCKLER hangs on the rack like
your typical Apple gaming software. It’s made for
a 48K system, and is produced by Datamost.
Opening the package, the simple documentation
within gives a brief (though descriptive) back-
ground on your adventures as a swordsman on the
Spanish Main. The art and logo are good, but are
typical Creative Associates work or a clone
thereof, which are becoming disturbingly prominent
on recent gaming packages. Unique art doesn’t
cost any more, and surely makes a game stand out
on the shelves.
SWASHBUCKLER would probably fall into
the “arcade” catagory of games, even though the
idea is, to my knowledge, entirely original. By
pressing the appropriate keys one can cause a tiny
swordsman to dodge and thrust like an expert
fencer, moving back and forth over the center part
of the screen as he battles opponents entering
from the left and right hand sides. The game seems
to operate by manipulating the graphics pages
while constantly drawing fantastically detailed
shape tables on the screen. As you lunge and
parry, your opponents may slash with their
cutlasses, twirl their polearms, lean against a wall
for support or swing a club menacingly overhead.
It all looks so real it’s staggering.
As for playtesting, it was a real pleasure. You
begin your battle two levels below decks, and you
must fight your way through two waves of
opponents to move up. After twenty-five kills you
receive a spare life - you start with but three. The
crew does not get deadly accurate until you get
up onto the top deck. You have rats, scorpions,
snakes, and spiders which scuttle by your feet to
wound or kill you, while at the same time you have
to contend with two advancing crew members,
each bent on your immediate demise. After fighting
through eighty kills, I find myself pitted against
an entirely new crew member - the samurai.
Slipping past his guard without impaling yourself
on his sword isn’t easy.
Putting aside my convictions that this is the
finest game I’ve played this year, I must admit
that a few things did disappoint me. First, after a
player receives his spare man at twenty-five kills,
he’s out of luck for some time. Also, once I hit the
top deck there appeared no other place to go. Even
after two hundred kills I could see I wasn’t going
anywhere. But, to my surprise, after 250 kills the
counter reset itself to “00000” for no apparent
reason, and started counting kills from one again.
This is my number two complaint: what’s the use
of having your hi-score saved on the disk if it
gets reset after 250? Of course, the one good benefit
from this is that when the counter hits twenty-five
again you get a new life. Shortly after 250 kills you
go back down one level, to seemingly fight easier
opponents, and then you come up on deck again.
Logical? Not to me, but then I was out after 278
kills, so if anything happens later, it missed me.
My number three complaint is more an obser-
vation based on an opinion: why didn’t the
programmer do more with this game at the end?
Maybe at 250 kills you fight in the crow’s nest, or
on the beach nearby.
In any case. I’d like to restate my opinion
that this is a fine game, and well worth purchasing.
Have you ever had someone over who looks at your
Apple and asks, “Can you play games on it?”
Chuckle to yourself, then boot up SWASH-
BUCKLER for them.
ED. NOTE - Dave Gordon of Datamost informs
us that the problem of reseting the counter after
250 kills will be solved. Michael’s score is the
highest of which Datamost is aware. If the highest
score on record is 250 it is no wonder that I was
frustrated by the presence of a 5 digit scoreboard!
Can you imagine how long it would take to get a
SWASHBUCKLER score that high?
A couple of techniques that have proven helpful
around here are: 1) Avoid killing your opponent
close to the center of the fighting area. Drive him
back first. In this manner he will not re-
materialize too close to you as you engage the
opponent on the opposite side. 2) If you do kill an
opponent in the center you can push the corpse
into the corner by moving your fighter in that
direction. 3) When you kill an opponent in the
corner immediately lunge again and you will kill
his replacement as he materializes.
Players of the game at CGW find the graphics to
be supurb and the design somewhat unique
(however, see Automated Simulations DRA-
GON’S EYE for another treatment of hi-res sword-
fighting). However the lack of variety causes the
game to become tiresome after a few dozen kills.
That not-with-standing, Michael is correct when
he points out that SWASHBUCKLER is a fine
showcase game. (B]
Continued from p. 28
In the master pattern example above, the
Jabbertalker will randomly select a Level 1 word
from List I, List B, and a Level 1 Noun Phrase
from List 3 to complete the sentence. The final
sentence will look something like this:
A (adjective) (noun) is a (noun phrase).
Of course, you will have to create the noun
phrase patterns, too. Each sentence pattern can
first be tested using the Make Sentence option
before entering it in your syntax lists.
Understanding Jabbergrammar definitely requires
a hands-on approach. The game is ideal for anyone
who enjoys creating and manipulating words and
sentences. As you learn new vocabulary words from
your schooling, profession, reading or hobby,
simply plug the words into the appropriate lists
and then watch and learn how the words are used.
Remember, too, that a foreign language could easily
be programmed into Jabbergrammar.
The 31-page instruction booklet clearly summarizes
all commands and command keys for each game mode.
It also provides complete vocabulary and syntax
lists for each special vocabulary contained on the
game diskette. Having a knowledge of syntax ~
transitive, passive, reflexive, auxiliary, etc. -
would be helpful but is not a necessity.
In conclusion, once you understand how the game
functions, it really is quite simple. By the way,
I’ve not revealed all of the Jabbertalker’s secrets...
these you must discover on your own. So, while
I try to find Alice, why don’t you just uncurl your
cramped fingers from about that joystick, forget
about the aliens or hidden treasure for a little
while, and enter the world of the Jabbertalker.
“Who is the Jabbertalker, you ask. Only the
most venerable, ancient, and grammatically
impeccable master of wisdom and nonsense ever
to scoll across the monitor of life” (from the
the booklet) .
graphics, Voyager is somewhat a disappointment
as a game. My complaints fall into two major
categories. The first is that the game is not
challenging enough. The key to winning the game
is not so much skill or strategy as it is persistence.
In the course of his wanderings through the ship,
the player will encounter the robot guardians of
the ship. The robots are located in various rooms
on the four levels. With one exception you have no
prior warning of a robot until it attacks you. It’s
presence is announced by the first blast from it’s
laser. Also, it appears that the robot will always
get off two shots before the player can return fire.
For this reason, it is to the player’s advantage to
maintain a full complement of strength points
before entering a new room. Thus, I found my
game “strategy” consisting of 2 or 3 rapid moves
followed by a period of inactivity (20 - 60 seconds)
while I waited for my strength points to re-accumu-
late. There is one way to locate robots before you
run into them. After you have some mapping under
your belt you can go to an elevator and look at the
various level maps that have been plotted. Often
you find robots detected in rooms you previously
occupied. These robots will patiently wait for you
to come to them. Simply travel to the room
adjacent to one of the robots, rest to restore your
strength, then go in with laser firing. My second
complaint, deals with the manner of resurrection.
After a brief, graphic eulogy, the player is asked if
he wishes to resurrect the character. If he answers
yes, his character is resurrected back into the ship
at a random location. What strikes me as
unreasonable is that all the map information
accumulated by the player up to the point of his
demise is retained, and can be recalled by simply
pressing M. Thus the player can resume play with
his death being no more than a brief interruption
in the action. If death is to be used as a deterent to
some types of activities, the penalty for death
should be severe enough to intimidate the player
into some form of caution and prudence.
In conclusion, I feel that while the graphics of
Voyager I are good the game design itself is too
simplistic to hold the interest of the average
computer game player for very long. If persistence
is your “thing” you will find Voyager I interesting
but those who enjoy employing strategies or arcade
arcade skills will probably want to look elsewhere.
$ 3.95/ pad
I mSflftU ' ''MH w> ooc
3857 Birch St.. #237
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Provides switch selectable sockets to extend the flexibility of the APPLE’S* game port.
Plugs directly into the game tocktt
Attractive caw matches the color and texture of the Apple’
May hang conveniently on either side of the Apple* or set
flat on non-skid rubber feet
3 switch selectable sockets isolated by diodes to insure
against device to device interference
1 switch selectable socket which automatically modifies the
Joystick or paddles to operate as the second unit in dual
Joystick games or lour game paddle games
Socket with no isolation for those special highly sensitive
Highest industrial quality components throughout
Fits conveniently in the hand
Extra long 60 inch cords
External trim adiustments to perfectly match the un
to your application and computet
Self-centering on both axes (may be disabled)
Two large pushbuttons
Highest industrial quality components throughout
Completely linear pure resistive circuit
Available at your dealer or order direct
Allow 2 weeks for shipment
All mail orders add S2.00 for postage and msura
Dealer mguiries mvited.
s Residents add S^o tax
a Registered TM of Apple Computers, Inc.
1104 SUMMIT AVE., SUITE 106
PLANO, TEXAS 75074
COMPUTER GAMING WORLD
Almost all of the articles in CGW come from
active readers of the magazine. We invite your
submissions of articles, art, humor, etc.. CGW
pays two cents per word for most copy and $30.00
per page for most art work. Art work for less than a
page will be pro-rated.
The majority of articles in CGW will be reviews.
These will fall into two catagories: 1) micro-
reviews of 300 to 400 words; and 2) feature reviews
of about 500-2500 words. Micro-reviews should
contain the following: 1) The information which
goes into the Basic Information Box (see this
issue); 2) General description of the fiction/back-
ground of the game; 3) A more detailed description
of the graphics, documentation, and above all the
game design itself. Refer to READER INPUT
DEVICE on pg. 40 to see the kinds of questions a
review should answer; 4) A discussion of the
strong and weak points of the game. Remember
that computer gamers have wide ranging tastes
and a game which is “poison” to one may be
“meat” to another. The strengths and weaknesses
you find should be those of the game, not the
game type; 5) A summary of the game which
might suggest what type of computer gamer will
want to buy this game and/or what type of gamer
will want to pass it by; 6) If possible include a good
photograph (color or b/w) of the game ($2.00 is paid
if the photograph is printed). To get rid of monitor
screen “phasing” in the photograph you must not
use a shutter speed faster than l/30th of a second.
A 400 word micro-review cannot cover a game in
detail but can: 1 ) give an overview of the game to a
potential purchaser; and, if appropriate, 2) suggest
some strategies for playing the game well. Any
game released in the last 12 months is acceptable
for a micro-review.
A feature review will do everything that a micro-
review does but on an expanded scale. The subject
of a feature length review should be a new game
(released in the last 12 months) or one that has
become a “standard”. When appropriate CGW
will print reviews of books, hardware, etc. as they
relate to the computer gaming field.
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
While many reviews will contain suggestions on
strategy and tactics, we also welcome articles
which are primarily strategy /tactics oriented.
This type of article will go into detail concerning
what techniques provide high scores or help a
player better attain the goal of the game. In
general, clues to adventure type games should
rarely be included. Where they are included they
should be in slip code (i.e. shift the letters of the
sentence one letter to the right or the left).
Formal and informal scenarios can be designed
for some computer games. A formal scenario is one
which uses the scenario designing routine of the
game such as SSI’s Torpedo Fire. An informal
scenario is one which the writer makes up an alter-
nate goal for a game with success being deter-
mined independently of the game’s stated scoring
system. An example would the “Castle Wolfen-
stein Dash” in which a point is awarded for each
room entered minus one point for each guard
killed. The Operation Apocalypse Campaign
Scenario in 2.2 is another example of an informal
THE SILICON CEREBRUM
Bruce Webster actively solid tes submissions to
our regular column on gaming and artificial in-
telligence. Contact him directly: 9264 Grossmont
Blvd., La Mesa, CA 92041.
CGW urges game designers to submit designer’s
notes articles on their games. Contact us if you
have any questions.
FICTION AND HUMOR
From time to time, CGW will print fiction related
to the computer gaming field. Humor will be
included on a regular basis if quality material is
Article submissions should be typed. The manu-
script should at least be double spaced and pref-
erably triple spaced with a one inch margin all
around. Please try to avoid all-upper-case printing.
For the sake of our editors, please double check
both grammar and punctuation. Be sure your
name, address and phone number are typed on the
first page. Include a SASE for return of unsuitable
All submissions become the property of Golden
Empire Publications, Inc., rights revert to author
upon publication or rejection. Specifically, our
purchase covers first world rights.
READER INPUT DEVICE #2
In our last issue we began a new
feature entitled READER INPUT
DEVICE (RID). In that issue, 36
games (each of which was treated in
some fashion in our first two issues)
were offered for consideration of our
readers. The number of responses
was low enough (twenty) that we felt
the results could not be considered
“statistically significant”. Therefore
we decided against printing the
complete results. However there were
some interesting results in certain
areas. The game with the highest
overall rating was ROBOTWAR
(Muse) with a 7.04 composite score.
SSI’s THE SHATTERED ALLI-
ANCE was second with a 6.78
composite. The four peole who rated
Chris Crawford’s EASTERN FRONT
each gave the game a “9” for graph-
ics (the highest possible score). There
was a tie for the highest rated article.
Both Joel Billing’s NAPOLEON’S
CAMPAIGN NOTES article and
Chris Crawford’s SO YOU WANT
TO WRITE A COMPUTER GAME
article received a 7.20 rating.
This issue will offer for your review
some of the games from the last
editon of RID as well as some games
from 2.2 and 2.3.
USE POSTCARD PROVIDED
TO SEND IN ANSWERS.
Rate the following games using a
scale of 1 (terrible) to 9 (outstanding)
for each of the catagories below;
PRESENTATION: Rate overall
presentation of the game. This in-
cludes such factors as graphics,
sound, packaging, documentation.
GAME DESIGN: Rate the game
design itself. Apart from the pre-
sentation is the game well designed,
playable, interesting? Are there pro-
blems in the design which make the
game less than it should be?; LIFE:
Does the game wear well? Does one
bore of the game easily or does it still
command interest after multiple plays?
OTHER: This is our utility box. For
this issue we want to know the per-
centage of these games that are
pirated. If you bought the game in
question enter a “1” in this box; if
you have a pirated copy enter a “2”.
If you played someone else’s copy
but do not have it yourself enter a
“3”. Please be candid. Enter “0” in
the first box for any game which you
have not played.
1. TORPEDO FIRE (SSI)
2. ROBOTWAR (Muse)
3. B-1 NUCLEAR BOMBER (AH)
4. CRUSH, CRUMBLE & CHOMP
5. PRESIDENT ELECT (SSI)
6. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7. COMPUTER BASEBALL (SSI)
8. EASTERN FRONT (Atari SE)
9. ODYSSEY (Synergistic)
10. NAPOLEON’S CAMPAIGNS
11. SWORDTHRUST SERIES (CE)
12. GALAXY (AH)
13. CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN (Muse)
14. TANKTICS (AH)
15. WALL STREET (CE)
16. CARTELS & CUTTHROATS (SSI)
17. ZORK (INFOCOM)
18. SHATTERED ALLIANCE (SSI)
19. SOUTHERN COMMAND (SSI)
20. BLACKJACK MASTER (Hayden)
21. TIGERS IN THE SNOW (SSI)
22. A2-FS1 FLIGHT SIMULATOR
23. BUG ATTACK (Cavalier)
24. DAVID’S MIDNIGHT MAGIC
25. TIME ZONE (On-Line)
26. WIZARDRY (Sir-Tech)
27. DNIEPER RIVER LINE (AH)
28. SWASHBUCKLER (Datamost)
29. OLYMPIC DECATHLON (Micro-
■ a n s ■ B B B 11 B ■ n H
Rate the articles in this issue on a
scale of 1 (terrible) to 9 (outstanding).
If the article does not interest you
30. WIZARDRY REVIEW
31. TIME ZONE INTERVIEW
32. TACTICS FOR EASTERN FRONT
33. LONG DISTANCE GAMING
34. VOYAGER I REVIEW
35. SILICON CEREBRUM
36. OLYMPIC DECATHLON RE-
37. JABBERTALKY, IN DEPTH
38. SWASHBUCKLER: ANOTHER
KIND OF PIRACY
39. BASEBALL TOURNAMENT RE-
40. ATARI ARCADE
41. THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
42. COMPUTER FAIRE PHOTOS
Enter answer in the “Other” column
for the next five questions.
43. What computer system do you
own? l=Apple; 2=Atari; 3=TRS-80;
4=PET; 5=IBM; 6=Other.
44. Sex l=Female; 2=Male.
45. Age l=Under 18; 2=18 to 25; 3=26
to 39; 4=40 to 55; 5=over 55.
46. How many issues of CGW have
you read? l=One; 2=Two; 3=Three;
4= All four.
47. Would you be interested in a
poster series reproducing the various
covers of CGW? l=yes; 2=no.
Answer these last two questions in
the places marked “A” & “B”.
A. What would you like to read about
CHALLENGING FOR EVERYONE
Sample the ever-expanding line of Microcomputer Games®
from the Avalon Hill Game Company.
Discover the challenge of . . . slaying a dragon . , , mapping an alien spacecraft . . .
thwarting a Soviet offensive . . . landing a jumbo jet . . . coaching a professional sports team.
Microcomputer Games® has them all and much morel
Each game comes complete with loading and playing instructions,
aiong with cassette or diskette software for the most popuiar home computers.
A solitaire computer game that
challenges the human player to
explore the four levels of an alien
spacecraft's maze-like corridors
and rooms in 3-D simulated
graphics, all the while avoiding
robots programmed to blast any
intruders. In order to win, the
human must destroy all power
generators and escape or hunt
out and annihilate the killer robots.
VOYAGER comes with color-
animated graphics and sound
capabilities for computers so
Thrilling computer version of
Avalon Hill's famous board game.
Based on the award-winning
Sports Illustrated game of profes-
sional football; forces the player to
constantly make the right deci-
sions about his team's offensive
and defensive formations. Match
wits against the computer or
against a live opponent.
DNIEPER RIVER LINE
A tictionalized engagement be-
tween the Russian and German
forces in the southern Ukraine in
■IRAS. The game challenges you,
the German commander, to repel
Russian efforts to breach the
Dnieper River defensive positions.
Soviet units, controlled by the com-
puter, seek to overrun the thin
German line and capture suffi-
cient objectives to attain victory.
DNIEPER RIVER LINE has tour levels
of difficulty and comes complete
with over 300 illustrated counters
and a mounted mapboard.
A real-time simulation of air traffic
control in which you will have to
guide the approach and landing
sequence of up to 8 aircraft. There
are three types of aircraft: Light
Planes, Airliners, and Private Jets,
with each type having a different
rate of climb, turning ability, stall
speed, ceiling, fuel consumption
and fuel capacity. CONTROLLER
transforms your microcomputer
screen into a realistic "radar
scope"; also, each aircraft's
heading, velocity, and altitude is
continuously displayed on a
separate chart next to the radar
Have you ever wanted to conquer
the universe? In GALAXY, players
send their galactic tieets out to
explore and conquer the
universe, solar system by solar
system. The planets discovered
may be barren worlds or they may
possess immense industrial
capacity and defensive ships to
resist colonization. GALAXY
comes with sound effeots (for com-
puters with sound capability) and
allows from 1 to 20 players to com-
pete against each other or the
computer. A different star map is
randomly generated for every
GUNS OF FORT DEFIANCE
In this exciting arcade game, you
are the oommander of a ^ 9th cen-
tury artillery piece in a besieged
stockade. For each shot you must
speoify a type of ammuni-
tion— ball, cannister, shell or
spherical case— and fuse length
(if applicable), and set the eleva-
tion and deflection of the cannon.
The computer controls the enemy
foroes, randomly attacking with
cavalry, infantry or another
Two to four players own and
manage multi-national com-
panies in various cities throughout
the world. Changing conditions
require each player to make con-
stant deoisions after considering
the financial resources of his com-
pany and his opponents. A variety
of situations will determine likely
changes in currency rates. To win,
a player must form and implement
the most successful strategy.
- .!-'T 5 p- IJ
CU mjc''xe'^put<f 9cmM
A DIVISION OFTHE AVALON HILL CAME COMPANY
B-1 NUCLEAR BOMBER
You are the pilot of a B-1 bomber on a mission over the
Soviet Union. You must fly through stiff Russian defenses to
the target city, bomb it and return home. Your computer
controls the Soviet MIG fighters and surface-to-air missiles.
You must rely on your electronic counter measures and
NORTH ATLANTIC CONVOY RAIDER
In the Bismarck convoy raid of 1941. the computer controls
the British convoys and battleships. Will the Bismarck sink
the Hood, only to be sunk by the Rodney and King George
V, as in history? Or, v/ill the Bismarck cripple or sink the
British Home Fleet and go rampaging through the convoy
LORDS OF KARMA
Like an intriguing puzzle! The fun is in deciphering secrets
while exploring a mythical, magical city and countryside,
while at the same time avoiding lurking monsters. You tell
the computer what you want by typing simple sentences.
The computer has many surprises in store.
Your computer controls a huge force of Japanese ships
whose objective is to invade and capture Midway island.
In the actual engagement, the Japanese made several
tactical errors which cost them the battle. Your computer
probably won't make the same mistakes! You command
the badly outnumbered and outranged U.S. Naval Forces.
Nuclear confrontation between two hypothetical coun-
tries Defend your country by massive espionage efforts, or
by building jet fighter bombers, missiles, submarines and
anti-ballistic missiles. Your cold and calculating computer
will choose its own strategyl
Armored combat on the Eastern front of WWII. Includes full-
color mounted mapboard and counters. You, as the
German tank platoon leader, start the game out-
numbered 2 to 1. However, you choose your tank types
before each of 5 scenarios. You also specify what your
opponent, the computer, is to have before going after or
defending the specified objective from the Russians.
New Second Edition! The object of the game is to become
the wealthiest person in this "business" game about hotel
acquisitions and mergers. For 2 to 6 players it is a subtle
game of interplayer strategy. As a SOLITAIRE game you
play against the computer. One can even pit the com-
puter against itself,
EMPIRE OF THE OVERMIND
Recent recipient of the GAME OF THE YEAR award by Elec-
tronic Games Magazine. Enchanting solitaire game. The
Overmind, a tyrant that is part machine, part spirit of evil,
cleverly overthrew the great king, who escaped and
planned revenge that has taken 1 ,000 years to fulfill. Now,
YOU must travel to the Empire of the Overmind and destroy
One to four players compete with each other and the com-
puter to stake valuable mining claims throughout the solar
system in the year 2050. Each player must decide which
ships to send to which planets and when to try "dirty tricks"
like a sabotage and claim jumping.
In 2500 AD, earth is threatened by attacking aliens pro-
grammed with an infinite number of attack strategies with
which to tease the player who must defend earth. A variety
of spaceships on the screen adds an extra dimension to
the excitement, A game for one to ten players in which you
can control the length of the game and its difficulty.
COMPUTER STATtS PRO BASEBALL
Recreate an entire baseball season, championship or
world series with real life player statistics, Avalon Hill has
analyzed full season statistics for each player, converting it
to computer memory so each performs in your game just
as he does in reality.
COMPUTER STOCKS AND BONDS
Here's your chance to be a Wall Street genius. Players
choose a general strategy and invest in the stocks that fit
their game-plan. Play it safe, gamble or do a little of both.
In a "bear" market players investing heavily could lose
their shirts, while a "bull" market would cause them to
make great gains.
With Cassette For
With Diskette For
Empire o> the
For credit card purchasing cali toli-free:
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